Could Lean Six Sigma Reduce Health Care Costs?

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Last night I saw a show “How to fix U.S. healthcare” on CNN.  One of the things that struck me most was the statistic that 5% of healthcare patients account for 50% of the healthcare expense.  The piece went on to talk about a project conducted in Camden, N.J., where a doctor found this startling fact by simply doing some basic analysis looking at data by patient and location.  As a Lean Six Sigma practitioner, this makes a lot of sense.  The show went on to talk about how the doctor was able to locate some of the patients and by providing them with some additional help, they were able to reduce their emergency visits and lower the cost of their healthcare.

Many hospitals are using Lean Six Sigma to reduce costs associated with their internal processes.  You can read about ER, medication errors, etc. and how they have been improved.  Wouldn’t it be great if the hospital Black Belts worked with doctors to identify and help those patients that have the most visits or highest expense!  The same can be said for insurance providers.  Black Belts could identify those with the highest claims and work with doctors to help these patients reduce costs.

What do you think?  Could Lean Six Sigma help reduce the cost of healthcare?

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