Redesigned care system saves

July 13, 2009

HealthPartners' spreading care system redesign reforms nationwide could save up to $2.4 trillion over next decade.

Redesigning America’s healthcare delivery system to more reliably deliver evidence-based healthcare could save between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion in Medicare costs over the next 10 years, according to HealthPartners’ analysis.

The analysis comes in the wake of a recent announcement by national healthcare interest groups and President Obama that they would attempt to identify $2 trillion in cost savings over the next decade. Interest groups have offered general ideas about how to achieve the savings, which prompted HealthPartners to release an analysis of the savings it is actually achieving in its clinics and hospitals by using EMRs and redesigned processes to prompt doctors, nurses and patients to take the steps most supported by medical research for each patient.

Consequently, HealthPartners Medical Group’s costs are 8% lower than the Minnesota average and between 28% and 38% lower than the national average.

“Redesigning care systems to reliably deliver evidence-based care has the potential to dramatically improve patient outcomes, experience and lower the per capita cost of healthcare across America,” says Andrea Walsh, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for HealthPartners.

HealthPartners conducted an analysis of the results from its medical group’s care system redesign work and its progress in achieving three goals: improved patient outcomes, improved patient experience and reducing the per capita cost of care.

“We found that it is possible to simultaneously achieve these three goals,” Walsh says. “This is significant information for policy makers and healthcare leaders to know as the nation discusses healthcare reform. The age-old assumption that there is a trade off between quality, experience and cost is proving to be a myth.”

In order to unleash the potential of care redesign on a national scale, the managed care industry needs to push for a realignment of incentives as part of healthcare reform, according to Walsh. “The place to start is Medicare payment reform,” she says.