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Recent Harvard Study Finds Significant Cost Savings with Point-of-Care Ultrasonography (POCUS) Use

POCUS is the practice of using ultrasound by trained medical professionals to diagnose problems where the patient is being treated.  These locations are typically at the bedside, in the modern hospital, emergency room, ambulance, remote care, disaster and military areas.  Miniaturized systems small enough to fit into a lab coat pocket provide real-time information in a non-invasive way at the point of care without relying on trips to the Radiology department.  And with the increased speed and accuracy to diagnose patients POCUS can be used as a rapid, reliable diagnostic tool to determine appropriate therapy and thus improve overall patient care. 

Recently published in the Journal of Ultrasound and Medicine, Harvard researchers found that Point-of-care Ultrasound (POCUS) performed at the patient bedside can save patients, insurance companies, and hospitals significant sums of money, even if the scan results don’t alter care paths. 

When indicated, the 3-month study demonstrates POCUS use results in cost savings.  In fact, when incorporated earlier and more frequently POCUS can lower direct and indirect costs associated with diagnostic workup by avoiding unnecessary tests.  On average, using POCUS cut $1,134 of additional testing for privately insured patients, $2,826 for out‐of‐network or uninsured patients and $182 for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Cost savings attributable to POCUS were calculated using the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Fair Health data. 

What this means is that Community emergency departments would benefit substantially from further evaluations in performing guidelines to integrate POCUS into clinical management and the role that this has in cost savings. 

TealHeal founded in 2017, bases work on a simple principle, that there is no better place to heal than at home.  We developed a way to avoid unnecessary travel.  We provide a mobile app, electronic health record (EHR) system, and a suite of Point of Care Diagnostics including POCUS and treatment tools designed to provide the full functionality of an urgent care clinic right in your own home. Instead of you going to a clinic, we bring the clinic to you.