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Thomson Reuters Analysis Sheds Light on Potentially Wasteful Medical Care Identified by National Priorities Partnership


Healthcare Business of Thomson Reuters Endorses National Priorities and Goals Announced Today

Ann Arbor, MI . — Medical procedures and services identified by the National Priorities Partnership (NPP) as potentially wasteful were found to cost U.S. employers and patients billions of dollars each year, according to an analysis by Thomson Reuters.

The NPP is a coalition of 28 organizations from across the healthcare field convened by the National Quality Forum (NQF) to set national priorities and goals for healthcare reform. The national priorities were unveiled today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, a member of the NQF, endorses the NPP initiative. “With the cost of healthcare services continuing to skyrocket and the quality chasm being bridged all too slowly, we are pleased to support this promising initiative,” said Dr. Lou Diamond, medical director for the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters and chair of the NQF Quality Measurement, Research and Improvement Council. “It provides a clear roadmap for action that stakeholders can take within their organizations to contribute to meaningful healthcare reform at the national level.

“Thomson Reuters is dedicated to delivering information and analyses that help all segments of the healthcare industry identify opportunities to lower costs and improve the quality of medical care,” Diamond said. “In that spirit, we have taken a closer look at one of the NPP goals — eliminating waste and overuse by reducing unwarranted diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and services.”

Thomson Reuters researchers conducted a preliminary analysis of the cost and use of medical procedures that, according to the NPP, may be administered unnecessarily. They assessed the healthcare experience of U.S. residents under the age of 65 who have employer-sponsored health insurance (approximately 170 million people). The study found that:

* One of the targeted procedures, endoscopy, cost employers and their health plan enrollees $6.55 billion in 2006 — up nearly 50 percent from $4.43 billion in 1999.
* Spending for another targeted procedure, lumbar spine MRI, rose nearly 87 percent from $792 million in 1999 to $1.48 billion in 2006.

“If these procedures and services were conducted unnecessarily even 10 percent of the time, then targeted reforms can generate significant savings and improve patient outcomes,” Diamond said. “These types of analyses can transform the healthcare system, one step at a time, by identifying areas where improvement initiatives will bear the most fruit.”

Many Thomson Reuters information solutions help healthcare organizations address the priorities established by the NPP. Here are a few examples:

NPP Priority: Improve the Health of the Population

* Thomson Reuters Health and Productivity Management services help employers and health plans evaluate the effectiveness and return-on-investment of their workplace wellness initiatives.
* The company’s Medstat Advantage Suite® decision support system allows healthcare payer organizations to analyze the utilization, quality and appropriateness of healthcare services delivered to their beneficiaries.

NPP Priority: Engage Patients and Families in Healthcare Decision-Making

* Consumer Health Solution provides hospitals and payer organizations with educational tools they can share with their patients and beneficiaries.
* Personalized Messaging is used to provide highly tailored health notifications to patients based on their specific healthcare needs.
* Treatment Cost Calculator allows patients and physicians to determine the cost of treatment and the out-of-pocket cost for patients, in advance, based on the patient’s insurance benefits.

NPP Priority: Improve the Safety of the U.S. Healthcare System

* CareDiscovery™ enables hospitals to track preventable and premature deaths, compare their results with the industry’s top performers and identify specific areas to focus performance improvement efforts.
* Clinical Xpert™ CareFocus™ provides real-time clinical surveillance across the entire hospital census. CareFocus provides early identification of high-risk patients and delivers that information directly to the appropriate clinician’s desktop, mobile device or smartphone for rapid intervention.

NPP Priority: Ensure Patients Receive Well-Coordinated Care

* CareNotes™ provides evidence-based patient education throughout the care cycle: outpatient, inpatient and at discharge.
* Medstat Advantage Suite® allows healthcare payer organizations to analyze the utilization of services delivered to their beneficiaries — including visit rates by care setting and readmission rates — to ensure access to, and delivery of, appropriate care.
* Physician Performance Assessment allows organizations to measure physician performance, based on cost and quality, and allows physicians to be informed about improvements they can make in the delivery of care.

NPP Priority: Eliminate Waste While Ensuring the Delivery of Appropriate Care

* ACTION O-I® and CareDiscovery™ Advance enable hospitals to identify waste in the delivery of care by comparing their operational metrics and clinical outcomes to industry benchmarks.
* The Micromedex Order Set Solution helps hospitals ensure standardized, evidence-based care with more than 900 integrated order sets for more than 300 medical conditions.
* Medstat Advantage Suite® allows healthcare payer organizations to analyze the utilization of inpatient and outpatient services in order to identify waste in the system and pathways for improvement.
* Medstat MarketScan® databases provide healthcare payer organizations with comprehensive norms benchmarks so they can evaluate the appropriateness of care delivered to their patient populations.


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