As it is right now, health care costs account for a shocking 17.6 percent of the United States’ GDP (gross domestic product), according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The health care system is not just a money pit, but a time sink as well, with doctors spending three-quarters of an hour every day dealing with payers, formularies, and getting prior authorizations in order. As Dr. Cutler points out, “The amount of time and money spent on administrative tasks is one of the most frustrating aspects of modern medicine.”
Since administrative costs represent a large area of health care spending, Dr. Cutler and his colleagues suggest that this is an appropriate area to target for savings. They recommend that standardization is a key way to garner rapid and large savings. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) created electronic processing standards that started us off on the right foot and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made a bit more progress.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act established financial incentives for electronic transmissions and the use of electronic health records. Although physicians are not required to use electronic transactions, doing so does save money in the long run and if there was widespread adoption, it could save the system $11 billion per year, says Dr. Cutler’s group.
At BioPlus, we are doing our part by supporting the easy and seamless use of e-prescribing and e-referrals for providers. For example, our TAP App tool eases the administrative burden of reimbursement, prescription writing, adherence monitoring, and drug list reviews for physician offices; this saves both time and money for prescribers. I’m not the only one excited about what TAP App can do for the health care industry; it was a key reason that I was honored as the 2012 Next Generation Pharmacist’s Technology Innovator of the Year and awarded the 2012 URAC Health Care Stars! Award for Consumer Protection. Find out more about Tap App today.
Stephen C Vogt, PharmD
President and CEO
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development . OECD Health Data 2012. How Does the United States Compare? http://www.oecd.org/unitedstates/BriefingNoteUSA2012.pdf