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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently made a chilling prediction about what’s in store for American healthcare consumers.
In a report on the top trends shaping the health industry in 2015, PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) suggests that new strategies to curtail rising costs will require patients to make “more of a conscious decision” about whether they really need certain specialty medications. In other words, it’s your money or your life.
The trend will likely be driven by the insurance industry’s effort to control drug costs by limiting access to high-priced, specialty medications. Based upon its survey of 1,000 consumers and medical professional, HRI expects insurers to raise the standards upon which patients and providers access specialty medications in 2015. HRI indicates that health insurers will require physicians to present a much more detailed, clinical profile of patients to justify medical necessity. Such details may extend all the way to requests for genomic data.
Most people don’t seek specialty medications for daily consumption unless needed. The general attitude toward medicine among people of a certain age is “less is more.” Most people rely on their doctors to inform them of medication types / uses.
So how do you ask, or rather tell, people to “make a more conscious decision” about whether they should spend hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars each month on something their doctor says they need?
Rather than rely on the “conscious decision” approach to combating the perilous increases in healthcare costs – which seems to limit special medications to only those who can afford it – we should exhaust all other options for “bending the healthcare cost curve”. Among those options is finding a better, more efficient way to run hospitals.
When commercial industries are looking to cut costs and increase revenues, the first thing they look at is the clock, so they can determine how much time can be removed from the production process. TeleTracking’s technology applies this approach to health care. To date, TeleTracking has saved hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars by changing and automating daily processes that have become extremely inefficient and disjointed over time.
TeleTracking’s first target was wringing wasted time out of the bed cleaning process so that new patients didn’t have to wait or be diverted to other hospitals. Since then, we’ve grown into the healthcare industry’s first supplier of real time automation for operational management.
By using innovative technology and revolutionizing outdated processes, modern medicine is equipped to cut costs, without cutting one of its most crucial components…medicine.