Value-Based Care (VBC) is an approach to healthcare where the emphasis is on the quality, as opposed to quantity, of care provided. While the traditional Fee-For-Service reimbursement model promoted quantity of services, federal officials have proposed several reimbursement programs that reward healthcare providers for the quality of care they provide individuals.
Value-Based Care advances the triple aim of providing better care for individuals, improving population health management strategies, and reducing healthcare costs. To be successful in this landscape, agencies need to be able to easily and efficiently measure, understand and communicate program outcomes to their community. More than ever before, good data has become your agency’s currency, and a system like AWARDS can help.
Value-Based Care 101
In this session, Senior Advisor David Bucciferro reviews some of the basics of a successful value-based care arrangement using a team approach and has an interactive discussion of the key components to a successful VBC provider organization implementation.
The goals of value-based care are very clear: improved population health, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced cost. Unfortunately, knowing how to achieve these end results is not as clear.
When change happens we tend to assign it a name. In software we call it a version, in the auto industry it’s a model year, with fashion it’s a trend. Each of these changes is announced with major fanfare and distinct lines of demarcation. Major software companies will often hold elaborate press conferences with online streaming to announce a new version of their product, auto companies have huge events to roll out the new model year, and the fashion industry puts together week-long shows to announce each season’s trends. In healthcare, we often have nondescript announcements or conferences where people from every corner of the industry gather to hear about the changes that are coming, but rarely do we have a distinct demarcation. We call change a paradigm shift or a new era of healthcare delivery. However, these eras aren’t always accompanied by a release date, a distinct time frame from when we can expect the old way of doing business to be replaced by the new. More often than not, we don’t know what the new might look like, just that it’s coming. There are many good reasons for this — the complexity of healthcare, the variety of healthcare systems, and the very nature of any multi-trillion dollar business. Regardless of the reasons healthcare evolves into something new, change does not spring up overnight. Healthcare often draws from past eras and past paradigm shifts to create a new one. Because of this, unlike many other parts of our culture, time is required to integrate old and new.
There is little doubt that the movement toward a new era of healthcare is upon us, with the next paradigm shift being one to a model based on value over volume. The days of volume-based reimbursement methodologies that have for years dictated the landscape, delivery systems, and often quality of care, will be replaced with a system that is structured to achieve savings, and measure quality and customer satisfaction. Conceptually it sounds pretty simple. Rather than pay for volume of services, your agency is paid for the value of services. Rather than live in a system that incentivizes how many services you provide, you are paid to provide the right service with the highest level of quality. This is not to imply that providers as a whole have gamed the system and provided services that were not necessary or appropriate. To the contrary, what it means is we created a system that incentivized practices that have increased cost, often impeded the delivery of quality treatment, and in some cases, created a dissatisfied consumer base.
While it is still in its infancy, few can argue that for our healthcare system to survive and thrive, this paradigm shift is not only desired but necessary. There will undoubtedly be many names for the new paradigm but at the heart, it will be based on paying for value. Over the next several months, and even years, we can expect starts and delays, new concepts and revisions, and hopefully more clarity than confusion.
Recently, I spent time at the Open Minds Performance Management Institute participating in a series of presentations and discussions about Value-Based Care (VBC). We discussed what it is and how this new model of care will evolve for the populations you work with every day. Conceptually, value-based care is a fairly simple concept to define: VBC is a system, an approach, a mentality in which all aspects of an individual’s healthcare are reimbursed based on individual health outcomes. Value-based care agreements are written to reward providers for helping healthcare consumers improve individual and population-based health. This is accomplished using evidence-based practices including integrated care approaches, prevention, early interventions, as well as a focus on social determinants of health.
Unlike in a capitation approach like many current managed care plans or traditional fee-for-service reimbursement structures, VBC reimburses providers, or more accurately provider networks, based upon the value of the services they provide–this value being defined as a measurement of health outcomes against the cost of delivering the outcomes. While the concept is simple, VBC is very complex with hundreds of moving parts, interrelated relationships, technological dependencies, aging infrastructure, and a rigid workforce. It also includes still emerging definitions of outcomes and many trillions of redistributed dollars. Over the next months and years, change will be front and center in the minds of providers, payers, and individuals, as a new foundation for success is created in a new world of healthcare. Some early examples of this change can be seen in states like Colorado with the Colorado SIM Project and Washington with its Washington State Innovative Care Plan.
Redefining oneself is never easy and redefining oneself in a time of uncertainty can often be paralyzing. Partnership, collaborations, and mergers will become more common than before. Being prepared for a new level of integrated care will help you be a part of this new world. Understanding your value as a partner, knowing the right Key Performance Indicators, having the capacity to share and receive real time health information, being able to define the risk you can take on in a risk based relationship and many many more considerations will be critical to your success. Being able to address these considerations while remaining outcome-focused and process-efficient will allow your agency to survive and thrive. The silos of care are coming down and an open marketplace is here. Are you ready?
You’ve probably seen this buzz phrase in literature, heard it discussed at conferences and in lectures. But what does it mean and are you prepared to operate in a system that values quality over quantity? Is your agency asking questions about data collection and analysis, reimbursement, collaboration best practices, and how it will keep track of all the moving pieces and parts this new approach will require to be successful? We can help. To explore some of those important questions, we’ve pulled together industry representatives to provide a basic overview of the concept — what VBC is and how it applies to your agency — along with some helpful and practical tips from agencies moving forward on their journeys toward a VBC model.
Learn how VBC aims to achieve the triple aim of providing better care for individuals, improving population health management strategies, and reducing healthcare costs, and hear examples of how good data collection and analysis through electronic record-keeping is grounding agencies in their transformations as they prepare for a VBC world.
Briana Gilmore, Director of Planning and Recovery Practice, Community Access
Michael Blady, Chief Operating Officer, The Bridge
David Bucciferro, Senior Advisor, Foothold Technology
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