Dollar Dreams: Bedspacing, Mortality, and Epic Healthcare Costs


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This week on The Rounds Table we’re looking at the big picture: the effect of bedspacing on mortality and factors associated with increased healthcare spending. Laura and Kieran cover two new articles.

Bedspacing is something that everyone in Internal Medicine encounters at some point. The concept is really this: when General Internal Medicine wards become fully occupied, new patients from the emergency department are “bed-spaced” to other non General Internal Medicine units throughout the hospital in order to free up Emergency Department beds. There have been very few studies that have directly investigated the effect of this practice on patient outcomes. Laura guides listeners through a study comparing mortality of patients admitted to internal medicine who were bedspaced to other inpatient units compared to those who remained on General Internal Medicine wards.

Next, Kieran takes listeners through a retrospective study examining trends in United States healthcare spending. Healthcare spending in the US increased substantially from 1995 to 2015, accounting for 17.8% of the economy in 2015. Around the world countries are facing increasing pressure to contain healthcare costs; understanding the relationship between known factors and spending increases over time could inform policy efforts to contain future spending growth.

Finally, the Good Stuff segment. Kieran covers an article on how health and human resources departments are grappling with how doctors should be paid. Laura shares an article on oceans as the next wave of innovation in renewable energy.

If you like what you hear, rate us on iTunes! Chat with us on Twitter @roundstable and tweet at Kieran @kieranlquinn and Laura @l_walk5

The Papers

1. Bedspacing: http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/early/2017/11/02/bmjqs-2017-006925.long

2. US Healthcare Costs: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2661579?redirect=true

Good Stuff

1. How should doctors be paid? https://www.npr.org/2017/11/13/563894754/health-and-human-services-department-grappling-with-how-doctors-should-be-paid?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=health

2. Making Waves: https://www.npr.org/2017/11/15/562900887/oceans-may-host-next-wave-of-renewable-energy

Music Credits

The Rounds Table Theme Music by Brendan Quinn, Creative Director and Composer, Vapor RMW

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