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Bringing physicians into cost containment

Here’s a look at the need for health systems to include physicians in cost-containment efforts.

Part of the challenge is clearing up the confusion about cost and “value”.

Becker’s Hospital Review writes: “Hospital leaders who have been given the seemingly impossible task of improving quality with fewer resources must bring physicians into the loop, said Neel Shah, M.D., an OB/GYN and founder and executive director of, which curates and disseminates knowledge from patients and frontline clinicians to help health systems deliver better care at lower cost….’

“The way physicians are taught teaches us to be terrible stewards of resources,” Dr. Shah told Becker’s.

Strata Decision Technology CEO Dan Michelson referenced to Becker’s a Health Affairs report showing that physicians control 80 percent of U.S. healthcare spending but, as  only one in five can correctly estimate the cost of common orthopedic devices.

Becker’s said:”The study shows that systems can achieve savings when physicians are included in the cost conversation, as 80 percent of physicians said cost was a key criterion in the selection of a medical device.”

“Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Health System, a long-time partner of Strata’s, has seen its cost-containment efforts succeed by including physicians in the conversation.”

“After implementing an EMR and establishing a common definition of quality, Yale-New Haven implemented Strata’s solution systemwide. The academic health system now uses quality value indicators (QVIs™) to understand differences in cost based on negative quality outcomes. Through the use of QVIs and by including physicians in the cost conversation, Yale-New Haven has reduced spending by about $150 million, while improving the delivery of care.”

To read the Becker’s article, please hit this link.


Westerly Hospital owner seeks to affiliate with Yale New Haven


Watch Hill Harbor. Watch Hill is a particularly rich part of Westerly.

Westerly (R.I.) Hospital’s parent company, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital,  seeks to affiliate  with much larger  and famous Yale New Haven Health System. This would leave Rhode Island’s two dominant hospital systems, Lifespan and Care New England, out  in the cold in an area of southwestern  coastal Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut with many affluent patients with good private insurance. Lifespan and Care New England themselves have resumed merger talks.

L&M spokesman Michael O’Farrell  told Rhode Island Public Radio that if regulators approve the affiliation,“Yale New Haven Health System will invest $300 million  in eastern Connecticut and western Rhode Island.”

Conn. Senate passes big healthcare-system changes


The Connecticut state Senate has  passed legislation for major healthcare sector changes aimed  at curbing some facility fees, developing a health-information exchange to guarantee patient-data and aiming to keep private physician practices in business.

Much of it is motivated by the fear that the growing consolidation of physician groups and big hospital systems, such as Yale New Haven, is driving up prices.


Measuring, alleviating medically caused suffering


There are new initiatives underway to measure and alleviate  the all-too-often ignored suffering of patients at hospitals caused by medical care itself.  Hospitals involved include Beth Israel Deaconess, in Boston, Yale-New Haven and the University of Utah system.


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