Close
ThinkAdvisor

Life Health > Health Insurance > Life Insurance Strategies

Tennessee Blue Clot Program Slashes Care Costs

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee is expanding a pilot medical care improvement program that cut the cost of treating 440 patients by $1.2 million in just a few months.

Tennessee Blue, Chattanooga, Tenn., says it sharply reduced hospital re-admission rates for the patients, who appeared to be at high risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis, simply by educating them about deep-vein thrombosis risk factors and following their progress.

Deep-vein thrombosis is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the large veins. The clots can severely damage the lungs and other organs.

Some studies have suggested that deep-vein thrombosis and related conditions may be the immediate cause of as many as 5% of all deaths, Tennessee Blue says.

Tennessee Blue researchers organized a pilot DVT Awareness Program from April 2006 to June 2006 by identifying 440 commercially insured members who were undergoing total hip procedures, total knee procedures, abdominal surgeries and other in-patient procedures carrying the greatest risk for deep-vein thrombosis.

The awareness team then moved, with the permission of patients’ doctors, to review the risk-assessment results with the patients, tell the patients about deep-vein thrombosis, and follow the status of the patients while they were in the hospital and after their discharge.

The pilot program seems to have reduced the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis and cut the re-admission rate for patients to 10%, Tennessee Blue says.

Tennessee Blue says it now has expanded the DVT Awareness Program to include all patients ages 16 to 60 in all lines of business.

More on this topic