Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

What Are a Hospital’s Costs? Utah System Is Trying to Learn

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Gina Kolata reports in the NY Times:

Only in the world of medicine would Dr. Vivian Lee’s question have seemed radical. She wanted to know: What do the goods and services provided by the hospital system where she is chief executive actually cost?

Most businesses know the cost of everything that goes into producing what they sell — essential information for setting prices. Medicine is different. Hospitals know what they are paid by insurers, but it bears little relationship to their costs.

No one on Dr. Lee’s staff at the University of Utah Health Care could say what a minute in an M.R.I. machine or an hour in the operating room actually costs. They chuckled when she asked.

The effort is attracting the attention of institutions from Harvard to the Mayo Clinic. The secretary of health and human services, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, visited last month to see the results. While costs at other academic medical centers in the area have increased an average of 2.9 percent a year over the past few years, the University of Utah’s have declined by 0.5 percent a year. “We have bent the cost curve,” Dr. Lee said. . .

Continue reading.

The related articles mentioned at the link are also interesting—for example,
The New Health Care: Forbidden Topic in Health Policy Debate: Cost Effectiveness.”

Written by LeisureGuy

9 September 2015 at 10:40 am

Posted in Business, Medical

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