Healthcare Quality and Disparities

The quality of healthcare provided by most hospitals in the United States is far from ideal: healthcare costs are constantly on the rise for both patients and their employers, but the quality of healthcare is never guaranteed and often completely out of proportion to the prices hospitals charge for major surgical procedures. According to the 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, which measures trends for patient safety, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, patient… Read More →

The Cost of Postoperative Complications

The healthcare system of the United States is behind that of other developed nations.  In a 2014 study comparing the healthcare quality of eleven developed nations–including the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Switzerland–the US ranked last [1].  While certain metrics like mortality and life expectancy can have a misleading effect when comparing overall healthcare efficacy, it cannot be disputed that patient safety problems are more common in the US than in other wealthy nations…. Read More →

Bundled Payments: An Opportunity for Employers

Even the casual observer of pricing for healthcare services is aware that costs are high, unpredictable and increasing quickly. Payments for in-network, elective surgical procedures can vary by 500 percent in the same metropolitan area and prices have little correlation with quality. Often the doctor’s pen was the most expensive “medical equipment” because of the charges that were generated by new orders, tests and treatments, driving cost variations and often without the guidance of best… Read More →

Better Quality Providers for Lower Costs

The health care system in the United States is becoming increasingly inefficient, having a negative impact on patients and their employers in the process. Hospitals consistently try to specialize in every medical area, condition and treatment in their attempt to serve all patients and maximize profits. Oftentimes, the results are pitiful – hospitals turn into large dinosaur organizations, ineffective and incapable of providing sufficient, coordinated care. On top of that, within the current health care… Read More →

Dealing With Out-of-Control Healthcare Costs

Out-of-control healthcare costs in the United States are becoming increasingly crippling for businesses as well as their employees, whether they are affecting their monthly premiums or deductibles. As a matter of fact, between the years 2005 and 2013, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage have risen by 42.4 percent for employee-only and 57 percent for family coverage [1]. Healthcare is now a significant cost that can be hardly, if at all, controlled by the business… Read More →

Assessing Quality Variation in Hospital Care

Over the past decade, many systems have emerged that attempt to support consumers’ quest for insights and objective information into quality of care at hospitals. The government has provided Hospital Compare from Medicare while others have taken Medicare and commercial data (when available) and combined it to provide severity-adjusted hospital ratings. (Carechex.com, Healthgrades and others.) Some agencies rate care processes compliance (Leapfrog) and others use systems that measure popularity among physicians. (US News and others… Read More →

BridgeHealth to attend the Annual SHRM Conference

Every year, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) hosts a conference for Human Resource professionals to browse products and services for awards and incentives, health wellness & safety, employee compensation & benefits, and much more. This year, BridgeHealth will be at the conference in Orlando, providing information on our products, including:  Pre-negotiated case rates with our surgical providers that brings savings (20-40% over PPO discounts) and  predictability  Access to the highest quality planned surgery… Read More →

Want Plan Members to Engage? Please Understand- It’s a Process

We all want—no, need—our health plan members to take part in healthcare decisions. Consumers have a lot more responsibility for making serious medical choices. It’s a sign of the times.  But take a look at what we’re really asking. We want a fundamental change in consumer behavior. It can happen, but it won’t happen overnight.  Healthcare consumers—your plan members—are largely playing a passive role at the doctor’s office. They’re used to accepting a diagnosis at… Read More →

The Doctor’s Office: Safe Place or Sales Floor?

As part of a company that helps plan members make sound medical decisions, I tend to perk up when I’m the one in the patient’s chair. I’m painfully aware of what some doctors and hospitals get away with these days, and what the repercussions are. Last week I found myself in the dentist’s office for a routine visit. When the dentist walked in, he gave me a virtual clean bill of health. “That’s great!” I exclaimed…. Read More →