NEHI: How To Save $84 Billion In Wasted Health Care Spending

NEHI, a Cambridge-based non-profit focused on innovation in health care, has just put out a three-pronged plan for cutting wasteful medical spending by $84 billion a year nationwide.
In brief, according to NEHI:

Emergency Department Overuse: More than half of the 120 million annual ED visits can be avoided, representing a $38 billion opportunity for savings. Potential solutions address specific recommendations to improve the primary care system and employ primary care alternatives such as tele-health technology and retail clinics. Proposed policy recommendations include specific pathways to reforming payment structures for providers and providing financial incentives for patients. Continue reading

Daily Rounds: Health Care Waste; Sleepless Children Risk Obesity; Doctor-Patient Failure to Communicate; Social Media in Medicine

Health Care Wastefulness Is Detailed in Studies – NYTimes.com More than a quarter of acute-care medical visits are to the ER, not primary care, study finds. Also, an estimate of the cost of “defensive medicine:” $45 billion.  (The New York Times)

In Young Kids, Lack Of Sleep Linked To Obesity Later – NPR Those who sleep less than 10 hours a night are almost twice as likely to gain too much weight, and naps don’t help, researcher says. (NPR)

Patients overestimate benefit of heart stents, study says – Boston.com What Bay State Medical Center doctors thought they told patients — “This will ease your chest pain” — and what patients thought they heard — “This will prevent heart attacks.” (Boston Globe)

amednews: Social media pose ethical unknowns for doctors – American Medical News What if your patient wants to friend you on Facebook? What if you want to report your whereabouts on FourSquare? The AMA suggests some guidelines. (ama-assn.org)