The Value APDA Brings to its Patients and the U.S. Health Care System
Learn more below about how APDA achieves the Triple Aim: Improving Care, Improving Health, and Reducing Costs.
Physicians Need A Choice
Caring for patients in a nursing home environment presents many challenges. The staff at these care facilities need to be able to depend on timely services from portable diagnostics providers to appropriately care for their patients.
The staff not only appreciate the benefits, they recognize the cost savings for patient families and cost avoidance for Medicare. They also know that portable diagnostics helps mitigate emergency department (ED) overcrowding. In a recent survey, the nursing home health care professionals were asked this question: “If there are ten x-rays and ultrasounds performed in a given month in your facility, on average, how many of those studies would have resulted in an emergency room visit had there been no mobile x-ray service available to you? Please answer with a number between 0-10.” Respondents indicated that, without the availability of a portable diagnostics provider, 79% of those x-rays and 73% of the ultrasound exams would have been performed at the ED.
Clearly, the portable diagnostics industry reduces ED visits and likely hospitalizations.
Patients Need Access to Immediate Care
The portable diagnostics industry provides timely diagnosis for patients in the safety of familiar surroundings. Its availability avoids the risk of transportation and exposure to illness in a crowded EDs. But the benefits go beyond the patient to include the medical staff, the facility staff and patient families.
It gave myself and family such peace of mind to know that my mom would be treated promptly, efficiently and with her safety in mind with portable x-rays. – Sharon Reilley
Independent portable x-ray providers live in the communities they serve and become an integral part of elder care in that community’s nursing homes and other institutions serving frail and vulnerable patients.
In 2015 The National Association of Portable X-Ray Providers (soon to be called APDA) engaged a consultant, CAC Professional Services (CAC), to help it determine the costs avoided by Medicare as a result of the use of portable x-rays and ultrasounds. CAC found as estimated $18 billion in costs avoided in ambulance rides, emergency department visits and hospitalizations. You will find the assumptions behind the calculations and a related consultant’s opinion letter on the findings in the “Math Behind the Numbers” below. Our data is drawn from the Medicare Public Use file from the latest year available at the time – 2012 and from a survey the NAPXP of nurses, physicians, and administrators working in long-term care.
The $18 billion in cost avoidance is possible because of how portable diagnostics are used by physicians today. Portable chest x-rays enable early detection of, or progression of, pneumonia, heart failure, emphysema (COPD), and various cancers. Portable bone x-rays enable early detection of fractures. Portable ultrasound exams can reveal life-threatening blood clots, dangerous occlusions in arteries, dysfunctional heart valves and other structural issues in the heart, cancerous masses, and other dangerous conditions. These conditions are in fact the ones Medicare most often calls out as the leading drivers of cost in the U.S. health system, because these conditions so often lead to emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. The very nature of portable diagnostics allows for early intervention in diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. If the results are positive, they often accelerate local therapy and allow the patient to be treated in the nursing home instead of in the ED or hospital. And, if negative, the patient stays in the nursing home and the expense of a trip to the ED, and potential hospitalization, are never incurred.