Controlling healthcare costs is a serious concern for manufacturers and consistently ranks as one of the top cost drivers for companies. Healthcare information technology (HIT) provides an opportunity to streamline processes, put more power in the hands of consumers and lower costs.  This week, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the intersection between healthcare delivery, consumers and IT is highlighted.  Mobile applications that allow consumers to manage their health and healthcare resources 24 hours a day, such as mobile applications and telehealth capabilities, allow for management of chronic illnesses. These technologies bridge critical gaps in access for some and provide additional flexibility for others. Employers and employees can manage healthcare costs by reducing complications associated with chronic disease, such as diabetes.

In addition, HIT and other technologies can facilitate more informed decisions, greater use of preventative services, assist care coordination, reduce fraud and abuse, improve delivery of services, and generate better overall health outcomes. For example, in-home assessments performed on a tablet, can improve the quality of care by improving care management services and reducing hospital readmissions while also identifying potential issues for patients to discuss with their primary care doctor. These are important issues to health care industry and NAM member United Health Group is one of the companies striving to make the system better.

Dr. Reed Tuckson, Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs for the United Health Group, said today that the health care technologies they are offering allow patients to utilize information to achieve the goals of their health care plans. Specifically he says that, “Health care cost calculators like those offered by United Health Care Group technologies allows consumers to know the exact price of all their clinical engagement – how much it costs for a procedure, hospital, by clinician, and more importantly, know the quality of the care delivery system. That information made available online allows people to truly participate in and make better medical care choices. We need the NAM to continue to be a leadership force for change that will improve health care for employers and consumers.”

The NAM is committed to continuing that leadership in order to ensure that the 97 percent of manufacturers that provide health benefits remain on the cutting edge. Technological innovation is driving modern manufacturing and can also drive modern healthcare, which provides for better outcomes and reduced costs. The future of healthcare is here and many manufacturers are leading the way by adopting these technologies.

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