By Ryan Kraemer, M.D.
Over the past several years, we have seen a renewed focus on rising health care costs in the United States. Numerous articles have been written exploring the problem with some proposing various solutions. One thing that seems to be agreed upon is the importance of health care waste prevention. In other words, we should avoid spending money on testing and services that do not improve the health of our patients. The UAB Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program is leading this effort with the development of a high value care curriculum. In addition to several noon conferences exploring the drivers behind high health care costs in the US and the impact on our patients, the residents are participating in several activities to help them deliver high value care. The residents are reviewing the hospital bills of patients that they provided care for to become familiar with the charges for various tests and procedures and to identify low value services. They are reviewing the average pharmacy prices for medications to learn to utilize the best medication with the lowest cost for their patients. We have also had some fun with this topic by doing a Price Is Right competition. Our important work in this area was recently recognized when we were named a semifinalist in the 2013 National Teaching Value and Choosing Wisely® Competition. Every little bit helps and at UAB, we hope that our future physicians in practice will contribute to the solution by delivering high value health care.
Dr. Ryan Kraemer was a UAB resident from 2007-2010, and chief medical resident from 2010-2011. He is now an Assistant Program Director for the residency program. He has led the efforts for a cost conscious care curriculum at UAB that the residents love! If the above interests you, email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.