Private insurers in the U.S. last year paid significantly more—up to 26 times as much in one case—for common procedures, hospital and doctor visits and prescriptions when compared with private and public insurers in 10 other countries, a report shows.
As health-care costs spiral ever upward, hospitals race to build free-standing emergency rooms and expand existing ERs. Hospitals say it makes business sense, but critics say the hospital arms race is too costly for businesses, government and families.
The emergency-room boom
A selective list of major hospital ER expansions, renovations, new construction and free-standing ERs around Puget Sound in the last decade.
Northwest Hospital, Seattle, 2001: Northwest spent $5 million to expand, renovate and add amenities to its Emergency Department, including a fresh-fruit-and-muffin station for emergency-medical technicians, Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A national leader and pioneer in Telemedicine has pitched its cost saving platform to union leaders in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
Contact: Jim McMann 702-516-4047 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Beverly Hills) US Tele-Medicine has pitched its cost saving telemedicine platform to union leaders in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
US Tele-Medicine (www.ustelemedicine.com) claims their telemedicine based management of chronic “lifestyle” health conditions reduces direct health care costs by 25%.
“Outpatient services and facility charges have risen by over 12% in 2009 and expected to rise over 11% this year,” said Gideon Ilumin, Director of Strategic Affairs for US Tele-Medicine. “Tele-Medicine means no facility charges and our physicians are Family Doctors, which means reduced medical fees.”
The scarcity of general medicine or family practitioners in the USA is causing medical fees to rise. There is no relief in sight as only 6% of recent medical school graduates are seeking their careers in general or family medicine. The relevance is that patients needing primary care, or general health management, are treated by specialists costing hundreds of dollars more per visit, than would be charged by a family physician.
To exasperate the circumstances, over 50 million Americans seek this primary care at a hospital ER. Expanded billing to unions and other self-insured entities reflects these rising facility charges, special ER fees, specialist fees and unless intervened with, this unsustainable practice will continue unabated.
“One of the problems,” continued Ilumin, “is that we have allowed a middleman hospital mentality to foster health care. Rather than a patient dealing directly with their physician, we established needless hurdles for the patient and redundant levels of micro-management. All of it comes at a price and at the expense of self-insured unions, companies or taxes.”
Ilumin said, “Telemedicine will save any union or entity about 25% of their overall outpatient health care expenses.”
These are serious numbers in our current economic state and that translates to millions of additional available dollars for hiring, continued benefits, and fiscal recovery.
In addition to medical costs, employees and employers benefit from the telemedicine model where workers “visit” a physician from home, or at work and not at some remote hospital or clinic. Most US companies lose 9-10 days a year of production/ income for every employee, just to visit a Doctor.
A company employing 2,000 workers will suffer yearly loses of about 19,000 days of no performance, so an employee can travel to a doctor. Of those office visits, 65% are for a chronic “lifestyle” health conditions, treatable by telemedicine and therefore making those office visits keenly superfluous and unwarranted in expense.
US Tele-Medicine e-patients are given easy-to-use consumer medical devices that monitor vital data and send that information via a wireless signal, directly into the patient’s file on the Us Tele-Medicine
EMR platform. It is then reviewed by a physician, for any determination or action. Any spikes or abnormalities in the readings cause an alarm and brings immediate medical intervention.
That is competent medicine. That is care in 2010 and for the immediate future.
US Tele-Medicine’s chronic care management system is proven to advance the health and wellness of patients and is state-of-the-art in medical care. The advanced EMR system now communicates with any records platform worldwide making the transfer of all patient files, images and records possible.
The modality practiced by US Tele-Medicine, brings health care to the patient, wherever the patient is, and exactly when the patient needs it. That is pure telemedicine as its optimum form, for now.