The Future of Health Care Delivery Taking Shape in Metro Detroit

Southfield, Michigan

November 20, 2013

By: Greg Beauchemin
At Crain’s Oct. 25 Health Care Leadership Summit, health care innovator Maureen Bisognano challenged Michigan doctors, hospitals and other care providers to “totally rethink” how medical treatment and services are delivered to patients.
Bisognano, CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and other summit speakers reasoned that fundamental changes are essential in a future where millions more people will have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and there will be unprecedented pressures on providers to reduce costs while improving quality and the patient experience.
At Southfield-based Parastar, we could not agree more and want Michigan’s business community and others who are paying for health care to know that we are already pioneering health care delivery innovations right here.
At Parastar, our industry-leading innovations are focusing on two areas that account for substantial health care costs and will fundamentally change how and where patients get care.
Parastar's dispatch center in Southfield, MIThe first area is improving and lowering the costs of medical logistics. Health care, or medical logistics, is a generic term for inter- and intra-facility transport — from inter-departmental mail, pharmaceuticals and laboratory specimens, emergency transport, to patient pick-up and delivery in wheelchair vans when an ambulance is not medically necessary.  Parastar has developed innovative changes to the traditional medical transportation logistics model used at most health systems and hospitals. Our system improves logistics by integrating our extensive knowledge of medical transportation with advanced communications technologies and logistics informatics. While logistics sounds nonessential, the costs to health care are enormous and we are achieving substantial savings at hospitals in multiple states across the country, with several new opportunities on the near horizon.
Parastar is also developing — and soon will pilot in Metro Detroit —an entirely new model to dramatically change how and where patients get routine but necessary care.  Many of us are too young to remember when doctors routinely made house calls, performing standard exams and other treatment services in the comfort of home. Most of us only know the current delivery model, where even the most common procedures require patients to travel to a hospital, a clinic or doctor’s office for hours or longer, or even to be admitted to a hospital. We believe many of these medical treatments and services can be delivered safely and at far lower costs to patients in their homes, in a skilled nursing facility, or wherever they might be. Using Advanced Practice Paramedics, telemetry diagnostics and high-definition video, our new model promises safe, quality care, an improved patient experience, and lower costs for all.
Parastar, along with our parent company Botsford Health, and other innovators are shaping the future of health care right here in southeast Michigan. Successfully implemented, these services will help hospitals and systems improve patient experiences, lower health care costs, and reduce emergency room visits for treatments that can be delivered to patients in the comfort of their own homes.
(Greg Beauchemin is president and CEO of Parastar, based in Southfield.)