hospitals, and consumers groups,
W o r l d T r e n d s & F o r e c a s t s convene locally on a regular basis
and discuss issues in health practice.
“If providers spent more of their
time informing patients of the vari-
ous options available to them, con-
sumers could make the best deci-
sions for them,” says Sara Imhof,
committee member and regional di-
rector for the health-care reform
Averting a Crisis in Health-Care Costs group Concord Coalition.
Communication and collaboration are key to efficient care. The key is to provide not just more
care, but more value-conscious care,
according to Imhof.
ealth-care costs will reach un- A hospital in Pella, Iowa, used this “Looking at value is key — looking
sustainable levels unless pa- principle to reduce traffic in and out at the entire medical experience
tients, insurers, hospitals, pub- of its emergency room. In 2002, at the rather than piecemeal episodes, and
lic officials, doctors, and other suggestion of an advisory commit- paying for the best possible out-
practitioners learn to act more col- tee, the hospital opened a 24-hour comes overall,” she says.
laboratively, warns the Iowa Com- clinic to meet more nonemergency — Rick Docksai
mittee for Value in Healthcare. needs after normal business hours.
The committee, a group of health 3. Primary-care transformation. Sources: Thom Evans, Iowa Health Care
advisers, practitioners, and patient Primary-care doctors, nurses, and as- Collaborative, www.ihconline.org.
Sarah Imhof, Concord Coalition, www
advocates, notes that U.S. health- sistants would take up a larger role. .concordcoalition.org.
insurance premiums have gone up Starting in 2007, Iowa health prac- Commonwealth Fund, www.commonwealth
120% since 1999. Furthermore, the titioners started new training pro- fund.org.
United States devotes a greater per- grams to teach physicians the “medi-
centage of its economy to health care cal home model,” by which
than the average for developed na- primary-care physicians follow pa-
tions. tients more intensively. Physicians Listen to
“We have to be more structured in deploy registries that track patients,
o u r h e a l t h - c a re s ys tem ,” s ays their health indicators, and any prog- WorldFuture 2009!
Thomas Evans, committee member ress. They also follow up with all pa-
and president of the Iowa Health tients every few months and regu- T