Health Quality Partners (HQP) and Hospital Incentives

1 May

There is a very good article written by Ezra Klein in the Washington post entitled :

If this was a pill, you’d do anything to get it

It is a story about the Health Quality Partners, who in Doylestown Pa., go about improving the lives of chronically ill patients. They have nurses who  visit patients in their homes on a weekly basis to discuss their conditions and progress. It’s a proven process that improves the quality of life for their patients and reduces the overall cost of care. Unfortunately it is on the chopping block under the new Healthcare program. There does not appear to be enough money to be made in the program.

Ezra’s article goes on to chronicle what really incentivizes the healthcare system to run on all cylinders when it comes to making money :

If you go into the hospital for heart surgery and you end up getting a central-line infection, you’d hope that the hospital would be penalized for it. The opposite, in fact, is true. According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, surgical complications increase the margin the hospital makes on the patient by 330 percent for the privately insured and 190 percent for Medicare patients.

The Health Quality Partners in effect, are holding back chronically ill patients from hospitals with their in-home care. That is where the cost benefits are demonstrated. The profits on the other hand, are derived when these chronically ill patients enter the hospital.

We seem to be coming up with solutions on a daily basis, only to see them shot down for their “effectiveness”.

Check out the article in full from the link above.

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