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Making Healthcare Affordable: Implementing True Continuous Costing

by Robert Tholemeier | August 02, 2016

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Despite changes to how we pay for care, the real costs of providing care remain hidden. One way or another, though, everybody pays for it, in the form of higher taxes, fewer jobs, lower net wages, increased debt, and reduced global competitiveness. That’s something many people don’t realize, including those in the business of providing healthcare.

This Chilmark Research Insight Report takes an unvarnished look at how much we pay for healthcare, where the money goes, the various approaches being taken to reduce spending, and, most importantly, the simple things that are not being done to dramatically reduce the cost of providing care.

The report will review the following: 

  1. Strategies and programs to reduce the volume of healthcare services delivered in order to reduce the aggregate healthcare bill.
  2. Impact of shifting patients to less costly facilities and providers – surgery centers vs. acute hospital operating rooms, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) vs. MDs, freestanding imaging centers vs. in-hospital imaging centers, and so on.
  3. The use of modern analytics combined with data that providers are already capturing to monitor and manage their costs of providing care on an encounter-by-encounter, patient-by-patient, and minute-by-minute basis to assure they deliver services at the lowest possible cost.

Few providers can tell you with precision how much cost variability they have in similar admissions, procedures, tests, or anything else. This is unfortunate given the widespread availability of technology, the ubiquity of true cost data at every provider, and the very nature of the healthcare business. The goal of this report is twofold: to fundamentally change how providers think about costs, and demonstrate how they can use the data they have to lower costs using a concept Chilmark Research calls True Continuous Costing.

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