St. Anna's Saving Lives and Money

St. Anna’s Medical Mission Saves Money While Saving Lives

New Orleans, LA – As health care costs in the US spiral out of control, preventative actions are clearly one solution. However, until now, no one has quantified the value of investing in non-traditional prevention programs such as mobile health clinics.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School have led the development of a prototype “return on investment calculator,”, to measure the impact of the more than 2,000 mobile health programs, including St. Anna’s Medical Mission (SAMM) in New Orleans, LA.

Using published data from the National Commission on Prevention Priorities (NCPP) that assigned values to a broad array of preventative practices, as well as published data on the cost-savings of preventing avoidable emergency room visits, the team developed an algorithm that calculates a return on investment ration, thereby quantifying the value of mobile health care to the overall health care system.
The team found that, for the services provided in 2008, SAMM will in the long run return $50 for every dollar invested. The 50-to-1 Return on Investment for SAMM translates into over $11 million dollars in downstream healthcare expenditures saved in terms of quality life years saved and Emergency Room visits avoided. In contrast, these beta tests of several clinics in the Harvard’s study have found that the Mobile Health Sector provides an average Return on Investment of 20:1.

SAMM was established in early 2006 in response to Hurricane Katrina and has recorded over 15,000 client visits to date for screenings, flu shots, doctor visits and counseling services. Health education and empowering individuals to take an active role in their health care are important aspects of the program, in addition to preventative care and screenings.
The vast majority of SAMM’s clients seen are uninsured or low-income (below $25,000 annually). The program is supported in part through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mobile Medical Ministries and numerous private donations
“People talk about the value of preventative measures all the time, but no one has ever really captured the important contribution of the many non-traditional prevention based programs like mobile health clinics,” says investigator, Nancy Oriol, HMS dean of students and an obstetric anesthesiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This value is underscored by the unique role that mobile health plays in reducing disparities in health outcomes, increasing access to care, and its ability to reach out to particularly vulnerable, at-risk communities.”

Contact: Diana Meyers, RN – Director, St. Anna’s Medical Mission
Phone: (504) 947-2121

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