As a health plan, we realize that we have a role to play. A physician's administrative complexity may be the result of a health plan's efforts to coordinate care and assist in reducing redundant or unnecessary clinical costs — for example, when a health plan requires prior authorization. However, no one wants to produce this waste, and we all want clinicians to have the time to focus on what matters, caring for patients.
According to a survey by the American Medical Association, for every hour a physician spends with patients, they spend nearly two additional hours on administrative tasks throughout the day. We know we have a role to play in alleviating this burden, and we are already partnering with providers to do just that.
At Humana we are helping providers in our value-based networks access services that increase interoperability. Or, to put it in simpler terms, we are making it easier to align and collaborate.
Currently, multiple providers can only share electronic medical records with each other by paying exorbitant fees. To disrupt this model, we are empowering patients to access and share their own health information. Instead of redundant forms and procedures, patients can keep caregivers updated in a seamless, cost-effective way.
So far, the results of this movement toward value-based care are promising. Our annual report on value-based care found that preventive care is on the rise, while re-admissions and hospitalizations are falling. This trend clearly reduces costs for patients, as we've seen costs for our Medicare Advantage value-based agreements almost 16% lower than original Medicare fee-for-service.
Humana receives more than 1 million provider calls each month. Unlike member calls, these are transactional, such as checking on benefits or claims for patients. Earlier this year, Humana and IBM launched a pilot program with more than 120 providers and a Watson-powered virtual agent.
Statistics and efforts like these make it easy to be an optimist. But what I'm really inspired by is the potential to address systemic waste across the health-care system, through providers, payers and governmental agencies partnering on improving the efficiency of the system — ultimately improving the affordability of health care for Americans, without having to start over.
We know where the leaky faucets are. Now it is time for repair.