Carnegie Mellon University

Improving Health Care

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Program Yields Better Outcomes, Lower Costs

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Personalized health care works. That's the message of a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon and Blue Shield.

Following a patient-centered management (PCM) program in California, the study found that the program saw a 38 percent decrease in hospital admissions, lowered costs by more than $18,000 per patient and got rave reviews in patient-satisfaction.

"We're very pleased that this study validates our commitment to provide members with more effective, more personalized care," said Blue Shield's Andrew Halpert, M.D. "This program makes it easier for members to obtain the appropriate treatment and helps our efforts to control health care costs for all of our members."

More comprehensive than usual case management interventions, PCMs help patients select services, consider different treatment options and avoid unnecessary hospitalization and emergency room visits.
Overall, the study concluded that the PCM reduced costs by 26 percent.

"This is great news for those who face some of the most expensive complex, health care needs," said Carnegie Mellon Professor Latanya Sweeney, who heads up the Data Privacy Lab and teaches computer science, technology and policy.

Sweeney explained that this is one of the first studies to quantify actual cost reductions that result from participating in this type of program.  

The study was published in the February 2007 edition of American Journal of Managed Care.

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