A Different Way of Paying for Medical Care

As an insurer, Geisinger now pays the salaries of extra nurses in doctors’ offices, whose full-time job is to help patients with chronic diseases stay on top of their conditions and, ideally, out of the hospital… The nurses make sure patients who need quick appointments are squeezed in, and they alert the doctors to any early indications of trouble by keeping in close contact with the patients and looking out for the results of patients’ lab tests… Geisinger [also] shares with the doctors any savings they can achieve by reducing medical expenses… In an unpublished review of 2008 data, Geisinger experienced an 18 percent drop in hospital admissions; overall medical expenses fell 7 percent.

Full article on how some insurers are helping doctors prevent high medical bills.

Comments (4)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    As we’ve said before, where excellence exists, it’s often the results of a few dedicated individuals. Geisinger is a good example of this. If hospitals were forced to compete on price and quality, organizations like Geisinger would win. Geisinger has an incentive to look for ways to improve efficiency because it not only is a hospital system; it is also the insurer that is at risk for costly-to-treat episodes of the lives it covers.

  2. Joe S. says:

    Doctors could and would do this sort of repackaging and repricing on their own if it were not for the third party payment system.

  3. Stephen C. says:

    I agree with Joe. This would be much better if it were the doctors who repackage and reprice rather than the third party payer.

  4. Sal S. says:

    Would this plan still be viable in a place other than Shavertown,Pa, where the average income is well below the $35000 that it is in Shavertown? Would the insurance company be as ready to donate the extra nurse help?