A2 Coursework: Health Care Costs Ways

Pages: 3 (1400 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] In order to address the ongoing wellness of its employees, Kaiser: engages in a Labor Management Partnership with employee unions to promote and provide healthy lifestyle resources, such as a "Total Health Assessment" questionnaire so an employee can determine the correct wellness plan for himself/herself and a series of 10 online "Healthy Lifestyle Programs" to address insomnia, stress, smoking cessation and weight loss (Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, 2012); Kaiser also maintains a Healthy Workforce Gateway that provides "good health resources and tools" to employees according to the regions in which they work (Kaiser Permanente, 2008). Finally, Kaiser proactively addresses possible patient infections in hospitals by developing "clear and concise protocols" based on the ideal of "unrelenting focus" and "patient-focused standardization of practice" for a high quality of care. These protocols have significantly decreased deaths by sepsis in KP-controlled/owned hospitals (Kaiser Permanente, 2011). In specifically and assertively addressing fraud/abuse, employee wellness and reduction of infections among hospital patients, along with other methods, Kaiser has proactively enhanced its practices while noticeably cutting health care costs.

The Ways in which I, as a Manager, Would Address These Three Points When Planning New Programs or Services

As a manager, I would address fraud/abuse, employee wellness and hospital patient infections through the methods encountered while researching this paper, with additional cash incentives to lower costs even further and reward compliance. Fraud/Abuse, for example, would be addressed with Kaiser Permanente's reported steps and possible anonymous reporting, PLUS monetary incentives for reporting any suspected incidents of fraud/abuse. While the current programs have severely reduced fraud/abuse, those illegal activities remain major drains on health care dollars. Consequently, I would establish a system rewarding reportage, even if reported anonymously (a system already used by several major police departments), which could increase reports of fraud/abuse and cut health care losses even further. Wellness programs have also been proven to see significant percentages of employees engaging in those programs when monetary incentives for participation are included in the program, so I would develop programs including monetary incentives such as cash and reductions in health insurance premiums. Finally, even infection prevention can benefit from monetary incentives, so I would develop programs that awarded cash/insurance premium incentives to all health care providers who have attained a zero percentage of hospital-incurred infections for patients.

1. Conclusion

Catherine Arnst describes 10 ways to cut health care costs right now. Three of those measures that are currently being addressed by Kaiser Permanente are: cracking down on fraud and abuse; developing a healthy workforce; and stopping infections in hospitals. As researchers and Kaiser Permanente itself have shown, these steps have significantly reduced related health care costs. Nevertheless, there are still some incidents of fraud/abuse, unhealthy lifestyles and hospital-induced patient infections that pose a drain on health care dollars. Consequently, as a manager, I would develop programs along the same lines but would add monetary incentives for compliance in order to achieve an even higher incidence of compliance while rewarding health care professionals/employees for compliance with those programs. The addition of systematic monetary incentives should cut costs even further while enhancing employees' physical and financial wellness.

Works Cited

Arnst, C. (2009, November 12). 10 ways to cut health-care costs right now. Retrieved on July 23, 2012 from www.businessweek.com Web site: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_47/b4156034717852.htm

Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. (2012). Healthy Workforce | Labor Management Partnership. Retrieved on July 23, 2012 from www.lmpartnership.org Web site: http://www.lmpartnership.org/healthy-workforce

Kaiser Permanente. (2008). Healthy workforce gateway. Retrieved on July 23, 2012 from epf.kp.org Web site: https://epf.kp.org/wps/portal/healthyworkforce/selectregion-WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=

Kaiser Permanente. (2011, March 9). New research unveils high support for programs to reduce infections in hospitals. Retrieved on July 23, 2012 from xnet.kp.org Web site: http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter/pressreleases/nat/2011/030911sepsis.html

Kaiser Permanente. (2012, May 25). Compliance Fact Sheet. Retrieved on July 23, 2012 from xnet.kp.org Web site: http://xnet.kp.org/compliance/students/FWAAwarenessFactSheet.pdf

Lavizzo-Mourey, R. (2009). The road to reform. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Wong, V. (2009). How hospitals can slash costs. Retrieved on July 23, 2012 from Images.businessweek.com Web site: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/11/1112_how_hospitals_can_slash_costs/index.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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