With total health care spending in the United States at more than $10,000 per capita a year and twice as much as other wealthy nations, a shift is underway from fee-for-service to value-based care that incentivizes providers with positive patient outcomes instead of numbers of procedures, according to an article in The Washington Post.
Consumer focus improves care quality, costs
Customer satisfaction is also a key part of the outcome's formula. The primary idea is that patients do better, and the system can save money, when doctors are paid according to results rather than volume.
The results so far are promising. According to a recent report from insurer Humana, patients who are served under a value-based model receive more preventative care and see costs that are 15.6 percent less than with traditional medical fee-for-service.
Furthermore, a survey of 120 health care payers commissioned by Change Healthcare found that 77 percent reported improvement in quality of care.
Providers find inventive ways to balance investments
Some hospitals may find it difficult to fully embrace the demands of value-based care with their current systems and processes. They may need to assess their shortcomings and come up with a game plan for the shift, such as a rural hospital needing to invest in telemedicine and other powerful computing capabilities to bring access to top neurologists to their patients.
KeyBank not only helped that rural hospital identify the right equipment, it also facilitated vendor financing for the purchase, Hoffman explains.
In another instance, KeyBank worked with a radiology group practice to assess how efficient its payment system was and how well it was poised to take advantage of value-based care. The KeyBank team first explored payments by spending time in the patient registration area before evaluating back-office operations and billing.
The team found that while the radiology clinic had robust technology in place, including a patient portal, there were several redundancies in the payment system across a handful of different vendors.
Choose the right partner to guide investment in the future
Value-based care is the future of health care payment, and its adoption will likely only continue to increase, even if the initial rollout has been slower than expected. Building capabilities for the new model requires a significant investment of time, staff and resources. A trusted financial partner can help assess how well an organization is positioned to implement this new model and which investments can help show value.