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Study: Modest care coordination improvements can lead to big savings

Even modest improvements in care coordination could fuel a decline in hospital admissions, complications and use of emergency medical services among older people with chronic conditions, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine (Source: “Coordinated Care Helps Elderly With Chronic Diseases,” HealthDay News, March 17, 2014),

The study, which involved almost 300,000 Medicare patients with type 2 diabetes, emphysema or congestive heart failure suggests that improvements in coordination of care for elderly patients could help Medicare save as much as $1.5 billion annually.

"Improving the coordination of care for patients with chronic illnesses can be difficult to achieve, but our findings suggest that it can have benefits for both patients and the health care system," said study lead author Peter Hussey, a senior policy researcher at RAND.