How Hypnotherapy Reduces Healthcare Costs by Deeba Hargis, CHt, NLP

The intersection between the reduction of costs in healthcare and improved clinical outcomes for patients present the optimum goal for medical group administrators. When procedures to achieve these goals can be introduced seamlessly into existing protocols, without a disruption to existing organizations, it is well worth a careful examination of the potential of these changes to medical methodology. The introduction of hypnotherapy as a clinical tool in medical treatment offers such an opportunity to both reduce costs and improve the quality of treatment.

Hypnotherapy has been recognized for at least half a century as a clinically proven procedure for behavior modification (smoking cessation, weight loss), anxiety control, pain modification and even reduction in physical symptoms (irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, allergies, skin conditions). The scientific basis for the efficacy of hypnotherapy have been studied and accepted, and practitioners have been integrated into the larger community of healthcare practitioners. Professional organizations have been established to provide licensing/documentation of practitioners and to provide opportunities for professional growth. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (founded in 1957) publishes The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis as well as regular monographs and holds annual meetings and workshops. The American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association (1992) and the Association for Integrative Psychology (2005) also provide professional frameworks for practitioners, including a code of ethics, continuing education requirements, and monitoring and compliance of its members in good standing.

In recent years, the use of hypnotherapy as a treatment tool has been the subject of several controlled studies, with the results reported in peer-reviewed medical journals. The conclusions of many of these studies has been that the quality of the patient experience has been improved by means of control of patient anxiety and improved pain management. At the same time, studies have shown that hypnotherapy as a complimentary adjunct to health care can be used to provide earlier diagnoses with less intrusive means, the reduction of the rate and frequency of sedation and/or pain control medications and earlier post-operative and treatment recovery. The reduction in the amount of medication and the time spent in hospitalization and treatment has a direct and positive impact on lowering the costs of medical care.

Specific savings have been shown in the use of hypnosis in conjunction with sedation during outpatient radiologic treatment [1]. In a randomized study of 161 cases in which patients either underwent standard sedation or sedation with adjunct hypnosis before undergoing vascular and renal interventional procedures, the cost reduction for a combined savings of $338.00 per case. A study published in the September 5, 2007 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Dr. Guy H. Montgomery, et al., found that in a randomized study of 200 patients, 105 of whom were hypnotized before surgery, total healthcare costs were reduced by $772.71 per patient. [2] An earlier study at the Harvard Medical School, the results of which were published in the Journal of the American Family Physician in 2000, showed that hypnosis reduced surgical costs by an average of $130.00 per case for patients undergoing non-emergency angiography, angioplasty and kidney drainage. [3]

The Berger study of burn pain protocols in an ICU associated with a university hospital in Switzerland, while not providing specific cost savings, did show reductions in pain scores and anxiety among patients who were treated with hypnotherapy. The study also documented a reduction in the number of procedures under anesthesia and total grafting requirements, which had a direct impact on treatment costs. [4] Earlier cancer diagnosis and treatment were shown in a study of several randomized controlled trials conducted at the Harvard Medical School. [5] The use of hypnotic interventions, which came at no additional cost in the treatments, not only reduced pain and anxiety among patients, but reduced procedure times and helped to stabilize vital signs. While monetary values were not assigned to these improvements, it is clear that the reduction in the length of time required for treatment would translate into financial savings.

These studies, along with many others in the medical literature, show the breadth and depth of possible financial savings and improved care outcomes from hypnotherapy. To apply hypnosis to a specific medical organization, however, still requires an on-site practitioner and individual application of these processes. Deborah “Deeba” S. Hargis is qualified to provide hypnotherapy services for patients as part of a medical organization’s practice, to help achieve both improved medical results as well as reduced healthcare costs.

Deborah “Deeba” S. Hargis is a certified hypnotherapist, certified NLP practitioner, business coach and consultant. For more than two decades, her services have been sought by hospital corporations, health management organizations, physicians and medical groups, celebrities, dignitaries, world-class athletes, public figures and ordinary folks, too. She has assisted thousands of patients and clients achieve their desired outcomes. Every great action begins with a first step. She may be reached by contacting her at (858) 412-7597 or via her website at www.deebahargis.com.

Footnotes

[1] Lang EV, Rosen MP. “Cost analysis of adjunct hypnosis with sedation during outpatient interventional radiologic procedures.” Radiology 2002 Feb;222(2):375-82. PMID 11818602.

[2] “Presurgical Hypnosis Reduces Patient’s Pain Perception, Lowers Hospital Costs.” Plastic Surgery Practice. (). Retrieved 03/16/2012

[3] Bates, Betsy. “Hypnosis Reduced Surgical Cost, Time, and Anxiety.” Family Practice News, March 1, 2000. (). Retrieved 03/16/2012

[4] Berger MM, et al. “Impact of a pain protocol including hypnosis in major burns.” Burns. 2011 Aug;36(5):639-46. PMID 19880267.

[5] Flory N, Lang E. “Practical hypnotic interventions during invasive cancer diagnosis and treatment.” Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2008 Aug;22(4):709-25,ix. PMID 18638697.

~ Author Deeba S. Hargis, CHt, NLP. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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