Aetna International discusses the effects of escalating healthcare costs worldwide

By Catherine Sturman
Aetna International has recently called on healthcare providers and insurersto adopt value-based care to reduce escalating medical costs. Serving an est...

Aetna International has recently called on healthcare providers and insurers to adopt value-based care to reduce escalating medical costs. Serving an estimated 46.7mn US citizens, the company houses a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services.

Global healthcare costs are rapidly rising as populations age, chronic conditions become more prevalent, and the demand for health care services outpaces supply. It is consumers, employers and brokers who continue to bear the brunt of this rise, the whitepaper has stated.

Aging populations have led to the increase of debilitating conditions and non-communicable diseases, leading to high treatment costs. This has led to ongoing difficulties for patients in accessing quality treatment, but also poses a threat to national economies. Recent statistics estimate a 7.8% medical inflation rate for 2017, up from a 7.3% medical inflation rate for 2016 and a 7.5% rate for 2015.

Bending the curve: Addressing rising costs in health care,’ discusses how healthcare providers can therefore identify and address causes of medical cost inflation and the subsequent need for insurers to adopt a value-based care model, where providers (including hospitals and physicians), are paid based on patient health outcomes), in order to contain costs.

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Addressing clinical inefficiencies and duplication of services will also ensure customers are able to access quality care, whether preventative, chronic, or acute, which benefits customers and health care providers alike.

Kelvin Schlief, Medical Economist at Aetna International explained: “Our in-depth analysis has highlighted there is a significant need to act now if we are to mitigate the rising costs in global health care. Through value-based initiatives, we are committed to prevention and intervention in all our undertakings, from health and wellness initiatives to our cost management service and strategies.”

The company’s virtual health service, vHealth, has seen a reduction in physical consultations by 70% since November 2016, which led to a 35% drop in the cost of outpatient care.

“We urge other global health insurers, providers and systems to embrace new technologies and services that support prevention and early intervention as a means to combatting medical inflation,” continued Schlief.

Utilising predictive data analytics will help support the ongoing health needs of patients, alongside the implementation of Electronic Health Records to centralise this data.

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