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Study: U.S. Could Boost Outcomes, Lower Costs With Disease Registries – iHealthBeat.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Study: U.S. Could Boost Outcomes, Lower Costs With Disease Registries

The U.S. could improve clinical outcomes and lower health care costs if it followed the lead of other countries and scaled up its implementation of disease registries, according to a study published in Health Affairs, United Press International reports.

Disease registries typically are online databases that allow health care professionals to share clinical information on a specific condition. Such registries can help health care workers identify and share best practices, as well as engage in continuous learning on a topic.

For the study, researchers from the Boston Consulting Group and three Swedish institutions analyzed 13 registries from Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S. They also interviewed 32 health care professionals to determine how the registries function and influence clinical practice (United Press International, 12/8).

Study Findings

The study found that the U.S. has some effective disease registries, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation‘s patient registry. However, researchers noted that the complexity of the U.S. health care system has hindered more widespread use of such registries.

Peter Lawyer — a BCG senior partner and co-author of the report — said, “The fragmented nature of the U.S. health care system has seriously limited the collection and use of national health outcomes data.” He added, “There currently exists no national mechanism to compel providers to report outcomes to disease registries” (Boston Consulting Group release, 12/8).

Researchers cited specific examples of how the U.S. could improve clinical outcomes and lower health care costs if it followed the lead of other countries in implementing registries.

For example, since Sweden started a hip-replacement registry in 1979, the number of hip replacement surgeries that needed to be repeated to replace or repair prostheses fell to 10% of total hip replacements, leading to about $14 million in annual savings.

Researchers estimated that if the U.S. implemented a similar registry and lowered its repeat hip replacement surgery rate to 10% by 2015, the country would avoid about $2 billion of the expected $24 billion in total costs for hip replacement surgeries that year (United Press International, 12/8).

Read more: http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2011/12/8/study-us-could-boost-outcomes-lower-costs-with-disease-registries.aspx#ixzz1g1ue11IS