Costs Down; Quality Up

How can providers increase quality of care while reducing cost to patients?  The answer is through innovation, creativity, increased patient responsibility, partnership, and real-time flow of information.  Here are just a few ideas to consider in reaching this overarching goal.  While none of the ideas articulated below are novel or groundbreaking on their own, they are strategies that we have observed to be successful and that have benefited both patients and practices. Encourage Your Patients to Be Involved in Their Healthcare Decisions—Both Procedurally and Financially One of the keys to bringing costs down and letting the competitive consumer market assist in the process is having an informed clientele.  Often, patients do not see the costs of the services provided until after the numbers have gone through their insurance.  In the past, consumerism had little impact on the healthcare cost structure due to fear overriding frugality—no one wants to save a few hundred dollars on a particular test and then “die” as a result of that decision.  Find ways to encourage your patients to compare the true costs of their medical care by establishing the quality baseline.  For example, two identical CT Scanners sitting next to each other can have very different price points depending on their ownership. Once a patient understands the quality differential and that the less expensive one is the equal (or even superior) of the other,...

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