Memorial saves lives while saving money - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Memorial saves lives while saving money

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Hospitals across the country are looking to save more lives and improve patient care while saving money.

Since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, level one trauma centers like Memorial University Medical Center are losing millions in federal funding.

Hospital officials talked on Wednesday about how they've managed to accomplish both goals of saving lives and saving money.

Memorial Health came up with tailored health plans for some patients to make sure they didn't get any sicker while they were in the hospital or relapse.

This all started after Medicare released a list of conditions that hospitals should be able to prevent. For example: if a patient gets an infection as a result of a procedure, not only is the patient's health even more compromised, the hospital could even be penalized.

Officials at Memorial say respiratory failure was one of the areas they wanted to improve. In 2013 it reduced mortality, cost of care and length of stay by nearly two-thirds. Memorial Senior Vice President Dr. Ramon Meguiar said since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, there is now a shift from quantity of care to quality of care.

"In other words, the number of things we do or the number of times we put someone into the hospital … more toward value," he said. "And reimbursement is aligning with value. In some cases you are reimbursed for providing better care, in other areas you are penalized for not providing excellent care."

The result of Memorial's study was shared with hospitals nationwide.

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