What We're Reading: Hospitals Can Save More Money With Private Rooms

What we're reading, November 25, 2015: hospitals can save money in the long run by preventing hospital-acquired infections with private rooms; Arizona's co-op plans to close December 31; and study finds testing prison inmates for hepatitis C is extremely cost-effective.

Private Hospital Rooms Save Money in the Long Run

Private hospital rooms may be costly but they will actually save hospitals money in the long run by preventing hospital-acquired infections, according to a study in the Journal of Critical Care. Researchers determined that the costs of building single rooms or converting multi-patient rooms would result in an internal rate of return—used to determine if a project is financially feasible—that is much higher than the rate healthcare organizations deem to be acceptable.

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Arizona Co-Op Plans to Close at End of 2015.

Another co-op bites the dust. Arizona’s non-profit health insurance co-op plans to shut down on December 31 after failing to secure additional financial backing. The state Department of Insurance had suspended the co-op’s right to sell new policies because of the concern that the co-op would fail midway through 2016. According to the Associated Press, 59,000 Arizonans will need to find a new insurer by December 15 if they want their coverage to begin on January 1.

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Testing Inmates for HCV Could Be Extremely Cost-Effective

One-third of the 3 million Americans affected by hepatitis C pass through US prisons and jails each year, and prisons have a constitutional obligation to provide medical care for their inmates. With the full course of treatment for hepatitis C reaching $100,000, prisons are struggling to treat the disease, but a new study suggests that testing all prison inmates for hepatitis is extremely cost-effective. Doing so could prevent up to 12,700 new infections in the community when the inmate is released, and would significantly decrease the number of liver transplants, cases of liver cancer, and other liver-related deaths.

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