CDS proves to be money-saver

By Patty Enrado
04:28 PM
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Health plans can save as much as $250 per member per year using clinical decision support, or CDS, according to an internal study conducted by Anvita Health, the healthcare analytics company formerly known as SafeMed.

By using good intelligence to push clinical essaging to embers and roviders, health plans will not only reduce healthcare cost but also improve the health and quality of life for their members, said CEO Richard Noffsinger.

Because of their access to claims data and both network providers and members, payers are in a unique position to do the messaging. "They're the only entity that has that position in the healthcare ecosystem," he said. "Knowledge is power; give knowledge to the right people at the right time."

Courtney Hughes, a behavior modification specialist at Anvita Health and author of the study, said her findings of CDS' positive impact on health and financial outcomes are consistent with past studies.

The Anvita Health study differs from past ones in that it combined and quantified CDS' impact on various areas of healthcare, including guideline and medication compliance, drug safety and imaging, instead of only one area.

The caveat is that the degree of cost savings depends upon the CDS system's real-time capabilities and the ability to message providers and patients at the point of care, or "teachable moment," she said.

"The reality is that the cost-savings can be greater than that found in this study as systems improve to more intelligently analyze patient data and provide timely new clinical insights," Hughes said.

Noffsinger noted that CDS' reach is going beyond disease management.

Janice Young, program director at Health Industry Insights, agreed. "The application of and investments in CDS, or business intelligence, are expanding," she said. "The next jump is from disease management to health and wellness."

Information is being moved into a real-time environment, whereby data is grabbed more quickly and shared with multiple entities that can improve care. "Information is moving closer to the consumer," she said.

Young is seeing this happen in health plans' communication programs, which is expected to be a growth area. Business intelligence can be used in product development to stratify populations by what kinds of communications work best with which groups. "This (use of the application) is really interesting and appealing," she said.