Bob Copple, the president of Ascension Via Christi Hospital here in Manhattan, sat down with KMAN during Monday’s In Focus and reflected on a year of advancements in healthcare technology, reductions in patient costs and increases in industry transparency.
In rural areas, towns face shortages in health-services staff and facilities, causing those in need of certain procedures to have to travel long distances for care and treatment.
Copple says new machinery has allowed many patients in Manhattan to stay local for their treatments.
On top of that, Manhattan has two surgery-performing robots while many towns of similar size have none.
According to Copple, using these robots for surgery can lead to less post-procedure pain and a quicker recovery time, meaning the patient can return to work faster.
He also says these robots have made Manhattan the location for a series of medical firsts.
Patient-cost reductions and transparency
On a more complicated note, it is no secret that healthcare costs are the center of oft-heated discussions in the United States.
But while healthcare prices may be rising in other areas of the country, Copple says that some imaging prices were lowered by 30 percent in the spring as part of an experiment while other areas have seen a stagnation in prices.
Another area Ascension Via Christi has attempted to improve is the transparency of healthcare costs.
According to Copple, one of the reasons it is complicated to provide an up-front price for treatment is that insurance plans can vary widely from patient to patient depending on which kind of coverage their employer has chosen to provide for them.
He provided the example of patients in Manhattan alone being represented by about 30 or 40 different insurance plans.
This means that while hospitals are provided with a list of procedure prices from insurance companies, the portion of the costs that the patient is responsible for can be completely different from person to person.
Copple says one way Ascension Via Christi has attempted to provide more transparency to patients is through a phone app.
This app can also reduce costs since it cuts down on follow up costs, such as billing.
For the full conversation with Bob Copple, click here or visit the On Demand tab on the KMAN website.