South Florida Hospital News
Friday October 30, 2020
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January 2016 - Volume 12 - Issue 7
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Patient Care vs. Cost Reductions – Finding the Balance

The Affordable Care Act is a tricky thing to navigate. Another year brings another list of new requirements and regulations. We are at about the halfway point of implementation and everyone in the health care community continues to try and stay ahead of things while at the same time develop strategies for long term success. At the heart of it all, the desire of the ACA is to increase the quality of the care while decreasing the delivery cost of that care. For many organizations this sometimes seems like a cruel riddle - increase the quality of care for less – ridiculous; but that is exactly what the ACA is demanding. At the heart of this is patient care and overall experience. High readmission rates, a bad survey response, infections all will affect your reimbursement. Ignore the metrics and the negative impact on your bottom line will be huge. They need you to deliver more for less. So how do you find the balance? When looking to control costs, focus on things that will not affect the patient or the quality of the care they receive. For example, is the quality of care impacted if you consolidate waste disposal vendors, find a less expensive office supply company, or push a medical device company to sharpen their pencil? Of course not? When looking to spend, put the money into quality enhancements, patient care and the experience. Hire a new Patient Experience Officer, invest in training and educational programs for your team, develop an outcome based bonus program, utilize higher quality linen and gowns; and you will be well on your way to record results. It is amazing to watch the leaders in the health care world. The quality of the care and the patient experience is remarkable. At the same time they are reducing their costs. Somehow their profits are at an all-time high. Worth thinking about as we enter a new year and chapter of the ACA.

 

Jay Juffre is Vice President, South East Region / National Service Director, ImageFIRST. For more information on ImageFIRST, call 1-800-932-7472 or visit www.imagefirst.com.

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