Reducing the Cost of Healthcare

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Assessments".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 March 2024 | Viewed by 1534

Special Issue Editor

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453, USA
Interests: health services research; health economics; national and state health policy; research methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Healthcare costs are an increasing burden on governments, consumers and third-party payers in the US and most other countries. Inefficient allocation of resources to healthcare services, and inefficient production, can significantly reduce the value of healthcare for society. Few approaches have been shown to target inefficiency, control excess spending and ensure access to high-value services.

We invite articles that describe the challenges and difficulties in controlling healthcare costs from theoretical or practical perspectives. We also invite articles that propose or evaluate policies or practices intended to reduce healthcare costs. We welcome submissions on the following topics:

  • Approaches to controlling costs from a patient, clinician and community or system perspectives;
  • Conceptual and empirical papers providing a new lens on healthcare costs and spending;
  • Experiences of cost and efficiency involving underserved or disadvantaged populations and the providers or programs that serve them;
  • Examples of improvement efforts that engage patients and/or clinicians for greater efficiency, with translation to policy and practice;
  • Identifying ways that patient-centered care can reduce costs in the short or long term. 

Dr. Christopher Tompkins
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • healthcare
  • cost
  • efficiency
  • payment
  • prices
  • savings
  • value
  • models

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 1283 KiB  
Article
Economic Impact of Lean Healthcare Implementation on the Surgical Process
Healthcare 2024, 12(5), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12050512 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 240
Abstract
Objectives: The objective of this study was to analyse and detail surgical process improvement activities that achieve the highest economic impact. Methods: Over 4 years, a team of technicians and healthcare professionals implemented a set of Lean surgical process improvement projects at Vall [...] Read more.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to analyse and detail surgical process improvement activities that achieve the highest economic impact. Methods: Over 4 years, a team of technicians and healthcare professionals implemented a set of Lean surgical process improvement projects at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (VHUH), Barcelona, Spain. Methods employed in the study are common in manufacturing environments and include reducing waiting and changeover time (SMED), reducing first time through, pull, and continuous flow. Projects based on these methods now form part of the daily routine in the surgical process. The economic impact on the hospital’s surgical activity budget was analysed. Results: Process improvements have led to annual operational savings of over EUR 8.5 million. These improvements include better patient flow, better management of information between healthcare professionals, and improved logistic circuits. Conclusions: The current cultural shift towards process management in large hospitals implies shifting towards results-based healthcare, patient-perceived value (VBHC), and value-added payment. A Lean project implementation process requires long-term stability. The reason a considerable number of projects fail to complete process improvement projects is the difficulty involved in establishing the project and improving management routines. Few studies in the literature have investigated the economic impact of implementing Lean management a posteriori, and even fewer have examined actual cases. In this real case study, changes to surgical block management were initiated from stage zero. After being carefully thought through and designed, changes were carried out and subsequently analysed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reducing the Cost of Healthcare)
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10 pages, 496 KiB  
Article
Regular Dental Check-Ups Are Associated with Choosing Uninsured Dental Restoration/Prosthesis Treatment in Japan
Healthcare 2023, 11(11), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11111582 - 28 May 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Since Japan has implemented Universal Health Coverage (UHC), most dental treatments are covered by public health insurance. Therefore, when receiving fixed dental restoration/prosthesis (FDRP) treatment, such as inlays, crowns, and bridges, the patient can choose whether or not it is covered by insurance. [...] Read more.
Since Japan has implemented Universal Health Coverage (UHC), most dental treatments are covered by public health insurance. Therefore, when receiving fixed dental restoration/prosthesis (FDRP) treatment, such as inlays, crowns, and bridges, the patient can choose whether or not it is covered by insurance. This study aimed to evaluate whether those who receive dental check-ups regularly chose uninsured FDRP treatment. Data were collected from 2088 participants, who had undergone FDRP treatment, via a web-based survey and analyzed. Among them, 1233 (59.1%) had received regular dental check-ups (RDC group) and 855 (40.9%) had not (non-RDC group). The multivariate logistic regression model showed that compared to the non-RDC group, those in the RDC group were statistically significantly associated with higher rates of good oral health behaviors (brushing teeth ≥ 3 times daily, odds ratios (OR):1.46; practiced interdental cleaning habitually, OR: 2.22) and received uninsured FDRP treatment more often (OR: 1.59), adjusted for socioeconomic factors. These results suggest that health policy interventions to promote access to RDC among individuals may improve the oral health of people and reduce the financial burden on the public health insurance system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reducing the Cost of Healthcare)
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