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Cost management doesn't have to be scary

Better analysis, planning and control of purchasing can help reduce supply chain costs by 5 to 15 percent

Ah, Halloween…the cherished time of the year when being scary is expected. For a month or more it’s everywhere, and by November 1st it’s gone.
 
That’s not at all the case in healthcare today. There’s plenty of scary to go around, and it doesn’t just go away…
 
Look behind the door before you walk in the room
 
Variation is a scary concept for providers, whether you’re talking about healthcare costs or outcomes of care delivery. It’s inevitable, and it’s part of the day-to-day routine for any hospital. But with truly scary scenarios like hospital-acquired infections, excessive readmissions and inaccurate coding or documentation which could lead to the wrong diagnosis and treatment, that variation can put patients at risk, incur penalties and negatively impact a provider’s reputation.
 
We call it “unjustified variation” – the unseen, unnoticed variation in healthcare practice that can really wreak havoc.
 
So, look behind the door. Find the unjustified variation that’s hiding in all areas of your organization. Hospitals that identify the best clinical practice and then optimize that practice to drive standards in supply utilization are helping the transition to the fee-for-value model that must take place.
 
It’s coming from inside the hospital (dunh, dunh, duuuunh)
 
Variation at any level creates more resource cost than consistent utilization. Given escalating costs of delivering care, significant reductions in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, payments and penalties tied to performance and ongoing consolidation in the market – to name just a few scary scenarios – providers must identify every possible way to cut waste while improving productivity and utilization.
 
Better analysis, planning and control of purchasing can help reduce supply chain costs by 5 to 15 percent. By understanding and acting on the data, providers and suppliers can better understand how to streamline supply chain monitoring and improve efficiency, lower cost and drive overall effectiveness throughout the system.
 
Don’t be the guy who wanders off by himself to find help (that never ends well)
 
Have a plan and work as a team. By aligning hospital cost with desired clinical outcomes through initiatives that go beyond just the dollars and cents of your supplies and services, you will drive improved quality and effectiveness.
 
By helping your organization improve its performance across the continuum of care, you’re doing the necessary work that drives successful, efficient clinical integration. Health systems that effectively engage doctors, clinicians and staff members in examining patterns around their utilization and processes position themselves to succeed in these scary times.
 
This post appeared first at Action for Better Healthcare.

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