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Discussion Aids Reduce Spending and Improve Patient Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries | Avalere Health
Avalere Health
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Insights

Mar 06, 2015

Discussion Aids Reduce Spending and Improve Patient Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries

Published

Mar 06, 2015

Avalere recently partnered with Third Way to estimate the cost savings of advancing the use of medical decision aids for Medicare beneficiaries, which would allow for shared decision-making between physicians and patients in preference-sensitive care.

The policy recommends that the use of decision aids be standard medical practical practice starting in areas where cost-saving potential has been documented. The report proposes five key strategies:

  • Create a verification process where health plans report on whether patients were offered decision aids in their decision-making process
  • Establish federal standards for decision aids
  • Require health professionals with substandard use of decision aids to seek pre-authorization of payments for services affected by decision aids
  • Engage health professionals in the shared decision-making process and use of decision aids through CME and medical school curriculum
  • Reform state informed consent laws to reflect that shared decision-making and the use of decision aids is the standard for valid informed consent.  
In the instance of diabetes, the report found that this proposal would decrease federal spending by $5.6 billion over the 2014-2025 federal budget window. This amount reflects a combination of an estimated $10.5 billion in new spending on the diabetes prevention program and screenings initiatives offset by an estimated $16.1 billion in savings from fewer Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with diabetes over the next 10 years.

Download the report for the full findings. 

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