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Technology and Cost Containment

In response to continually rising health care costs, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provision was created to promote the meaningful use of health care information technology through numerous incentive programs for health care providers. By enhancing data collection, streamlining electronic medical records, and increasing transparency, it is believed that significant cost savings can be realized as well as other positive outcomes. What are some of the tradeoffs involved in this type of policy?

To prepare:

  • Reflect      on the challenges of containing health care costs in the U.S. presented in      the Learning Resources and discussed by Dr. Kominski and Dr. Zelman in the      media.
  • Consider      how information technology may be used to address health care issues      related to cost.
  • Examine      the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health      (HITECH) provision and its goals.

By tomorrow 03/272018 12 pm, write a minimum of 550 words in APA format with at least 3 scholarly references from the list of required readings below. Include the level one headings as numbered below”

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

1) Briefly summarize a significant challenge to containing health care costs.

2) How do policy makers envision technology could be utilized to address this challenge (above)? Provide at least one example to support your response.

3) Do you agree or disagree with the policy makers? Describe why you agree or disagree and include one or more insights from this analysis that relate to the question of how information technology could, or could not, help contain costs while supporting health care reform initiatives.

Required Readings

Bodenheimer, T., & Grumbach, K. (2016). Understanding health policy: A clinical approach (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical.

  • Chapter      8, “Painful Versus Painless Cost Control”

         Chapter 8 focuses on the relationship between health care costs and health      outcomes and its importance on the health policy agenda. This chapter also      presents strategies for effectively utilizing resources as opposed to      rationing health care services.

     

  • Chapter      9, “Mechanisms for Controlling Costs”

         Chapter 9 examines an array of policies aimed at controlling health care      costs and reviews specific financial and reimbursement cost containment      methods to health outcomes.

Buntin, M., Jain, S., & Blumenthal, D. (2010). Health information technology: Laying the infrastructure for national health reform. Health Affairs, 29(6), 1214–1219. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0503 

In this article, the authors examine the role of health information technology as a major component in the restructuring of health care. They suggest it will improve quality, reduce costs, and allow for seamless access to data across providers.

Margolius, D., & Bodenheimer, T. (2010). Transforming primary care: From past practice to the practice of the future. Health Affairs, 29(5).

The authors propose a primary care practice of the future in which physicians act as leaders of a team of health care professionals. Reimbursement would shift from a pay-per-service model to a comprehensive model that incorporates both a standardized payment per patient and performance pay based on improved patient health outcomes.

Maxson, E., Jain, S., McKethan, A., Brammer, C., Buntin, M., Cronin, K., … Blumenthal, D. (2010). Beacon communities aim to use health information technology to transform the delivery of care. Health Affairs, 29(9), 1671–1677. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0577

Monheit, A., Cantor, J., DeLia, D., & Belloff, D. (2011). How have state policies to expand dependent coverage affected the health insurance status of young adults? Health Services Research, 46(1), 251- 267. 

Young adults (19-29 years of age) are one of the highest uninsured segments of U.S. population. Some states have mandated extended dependent coverage; however, the study presented in this article depicts little effect on uninsured rates. The authors suggest that the PPACA 2010 provision mandating expanded dependent coverage will have better success because more health plans will be involved in the mandate.

Rosenthal, M., Beckman, H., Forrest, D., Huang, E., Landon, B., & Lewis, S. (2010). Will the patient-centered medical home improve efficiency and reduce costs for care? A measurement and research agenda. Medical Care Research & Review, 67(4), 476–484. 

This article discusses the use of Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) as a cost containment strategy. The authors maintain that credible research needs to be conducted to evaluate the actual results.

Steuerle, C. E., & Bovbjerg, R. R. (2008). Health and budget reform as handmaidens. Health Affairs, 27(3), 633–644.

Wilensky, G. (2010). Health economics. Information Knowledge Systems Management, 8, 179–193.

Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011). Healthcare policy and advocacy: Cost containment. Baltimore: Author. 

In this media presentation, Dr. Gerald Kominski and Dr. Walter Zelman discuss the challenges policy makers face in containing health care expenditures and costs.

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