Source: NJ Today.net
Our health care system has scored a hat trick of reduced mortality rates, fewer hospitalizations and reduced healthcare costs, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s great news for patients, taxpayers, employers and anyone who’s interested in high-value healthcare.
Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine reported that mortality rates among Medicare patients fell 16 percent from 1999 to 2013. That’s 300,000 fewer deaths a year in 2013 than in 1999, said cardiologist Harlan Krumholz, the lead researcher and author. He called the results “jaw-dropping.”
In addition, hospitalization rates fell 24 percent, and the costs for hospitalized patients fell by 15 percent.
Those findings are precisely the types of results we’re striving for in our hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Our goal, and our challenge under the Affordable Care Act, is to provide high-quality healthcare at lower costs.
And we do that by focusing on wellness and preventative services, keeping patients out of the hospital, improving quality and reducing complications and providing the right amount of care in the right healthcare setting.
That’s why you’re seeing things like hospital-run fitness centers and urgi-care centers; hospitals integrating into larger systems with physician groups and post-acute providers; patient follow-up programs that aim to keep discharged patients from a return hospital stay; and many more new initiatives.
It’s incredibly rewarding to see those efforts validated and quantified in the JAMA report. We know there’s much more change and many more challenges ahead as we work to transform our healthcare system. But today, it’s great to see that our shots are on goal and we’ve found the back of the net.
By Elizabeth A. Ryan, Esq., president and CEO of the Trenton-based New Jersey Hospital Association.