Better Coordination Of Care Could Save $1.5 Billion Annually

Tracey Walker | Managed Healthcare Executive | May 1, 2014

Improving the coordination of care for elderly patients with chronic diseases reduces costs, use of health services and complications, according to a new RAND Corporation study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied nearly 300,000 Medicare patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure or emphysema and found that even modest improvements in the continuity of care were associated with sizable reductions in use of hospital emergency departments and hospitalizations. Patients with chronic illnesses often experience poorly coordinated care; they may see different healthcare providers working in multiple clinical locations and experience poor communication. These factors can lead to higher use of health services and poorer outcomes.  Improving coordination of care for patients with these illnesses could save Medicare as much as $1.5 billion per year, the research suggested...