The numbers are everywhere: $2.4 trillion spent on healthcare in 2008, or 16.6% of GDP, or $7,800 for every person. Even though spending has slowed due to the recession, government agencies expect it be $3.1 trillion by 2012. Of course, the intelligent implementation of IT is not a panacea for lowering health care costs. According to a 2000 report by the Center for the Advancement of Health, about 70% of costs could be saved by changing risky behavior such as lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet. But there is still a great deal of money to be saved in administration, supply management, diagnosis, and in finding ways for doctors to communicate with each other. This page explores the many opportunities for entrepreneurs to create better healthcare systems, both in the United States and around the world.
Automating Records, Claims, and Other Processes
This is an area I have covered extensively, and with good reason. Malpractice insurance and the fact that physicians in the United States are generally paid per procedure partly explain why healthcare here is often much more expensive than in Canada or Europe. But the lack of automation and electronic record-keeping are also factors. When doctors don’t have easy access to a patient’s records; when patients who see more than one doctor don’t have a complete, portable picture of their medical history; when supplies are not moved efficiently along the chain, people lose time and money, and may not receive the best care possible. Automating and digitizing some of the many patient- and doctor-facing processes involved in healthcare administration will help lower the cost of care.
*Building A National Health Information Network: NaviNet’s Brad Waugh and Tom Morrison
*Critical Innovation In Healthcare Claims Processing: athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush
*Deal Radar 2009: AdvancedMD
*Streamlining Healthcare: AdvancedMD CEO Eric Morgan
*Deal Radar 2009: Medsphere
*Deal Radar 2009: Triveris
*Deal Radar 2008: ShiftWise
*Deal Radar 2009: WaveMark
Content for Doctors and Consumers