Hospitals to see bigger push to cut chronic care costs

The changes ushered in by the Affordable Care Act will prompt many insurers to push hospitals and other providers to clamp down on the costs of providing chronic care, reported The New York Times.

With bars for preexisting conditions expected to be eliminated as part of the ACA, insurers will have to apply pressure on cost-cutting for enrollees with chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma that can cost thousands of dollars a month to treat and well over six figures a year should the condition become uncontrollable.

As a result, insurers such as HealthPartners are more closely coordinating with caregivers such as nurses, who will follow up with patients after visits with physicians and hospital stays.

"It's important to know who they are and manage their conditions," said Pat Courneya, a medical director for HealthPartners.

According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the costliest patients under the age of 65 suffer from at least one chronic condition that is not being properly monitored.

However, even a move away from the long-time practice of cost-shifting won't help some patients adhere to their medication or other regimens designed to keep their conditions from flaring up.

To learn more:
- read The New York Times article
- here's the IMS data

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