This week, Cantata Health and a global sweep of other industry experts convened in Orlando, FL for HIMSS19: acute care providers’ largest annual conference and exhibition.
Didn’t head to sunny Florida? Don’t sweat it. Here’s a look at one of the hottest topics that was covered at HIMSS, and one that’s dominating the healthcare dialogue at large: value-based care. As an acute care provider, you’ve surely heard about your industry’s imminent shift to a results-oriented payment model. More and more, acute care clinics will get financially rewarded according to the quality, not quantity, of patient care that they provide.
In the same vein as the Patient-Driven Payment (PDPM), value-based care aims to break the self-perpetuating cycle of inappropriate medical treatment that occurs under a fee-for-service model, which rewards volume of treatment over patient outcomes.
Better patient care, more mission-oriented clinics, fewer wasted resources for everyone? What’s to lose? As is the case with any systemic issue, collective change is easier said than done. To keep up, providers must address their own systemic slowdowns.
Here are 5 ways to get on board with value-based care
1. Connect the dots with interoperability
High value care = holistic care. Today, providers can more effectively address patients’ multifaceted health needs by enlisting a team of various specialists. Here’s where your electronic health record (EHR) platform comes into play. EHR systems are the connective tissue between providers, allowing them to securely access patient information from other facilities, as well as coordinate a holistic patient care plan.
In addition to connecting facilities, modern EHR systems can connect to other technologies and integrate with third-party apps to better address clinical and operational needs.
Good to remember: modern tech doesn’t have to mean more screen time, less face-to-face time. An ideal EHR system should be able to hold appropriate notes and an accurate record of care, without distracting from patients or obstructing a clinician’s workflow.
2. Centralize key info to keep care on-point
Optimizing the patient experience means providing the right care at the right time. Clinicians need a quick and easy way to understand their patients’ health story: previous treatments, medications, demographics. Providers can make informed decisions more quickly with the help of a system that centralizes patient info from disparate sources.
Beyond individual patient data, modern EHR systems can also enrich providers’ contextual understanding of their patients’ health by providing information on similar demographics. Instead of having to paint each patient profile from scratch, data insights can give clinicians a head start. Ultimately, this frees up time to provide more personalized attention, and as predictive analytics advance, quality care will continue the upward swing.
3. Alleviate administrative headaches: payments and claims
A huge factor in optimizing the patient experience includes the ease with which you can process their payments and claims. With the help of a high-performing billing system, your front-end financial ecosystem can circulate as seamlessly as your exchange of clinical data. An ideal Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) software will integrate with various payment and EHR systems. Since coding errors cause most claim denials, 90% of them are avoidable. With an RCM that has the connective power to rationalize data from multiple sources, as well as catch documentation errors, facilities can proactively intercept claim denials before they muck up in the patient-treatment-payment cycle.
4. Smooth out your supply chain.
Facilities will likely experience financial growing pains as they shift to a VBC payment model. But that doesn’t mean they have to lose money. To buffer potential short-term financial hits, healthcare organizations can optimize their internal operations, ensuring efficient supply chain management and minimizing wasted resources. Materials represent 35% of hospital expenses. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that integrates with various apps and consolidates information around materials management can help healthcare organizations keep a pulse on their overall financial wellbeing.
5. Security and compliance? Lock it down.
More than ever, patients are concerned about protecting their personal information. And regulations to protect patient privacy are also more plentiful and stringent. Since security and compliance is a non-negotiable, ensure your EHR, RCM, and ERP systems can facilitate the secure communication between a variety of inputs, while adhering to standards like Health Level 7 (HL7) and Meaningful Use Level 2 (MU3).
Bottom line: CMS wants you to provide better care; so do you, and so do your patients. We live in the Age of the Empowered Customer, and the healthcare industry is no exception. With easier access to information online – ratings, alternative options, and visibility into what SHOULD set the bar in healthcare – patients have higher standards. They’ll choose a provider based on its ability to deliver an optimal experience. Thus, this year’s HIMSS conference shared a variety of tech-based strategies to help providers stay abreast of an evolving market. We hope this blog post has had a similar effect by explaining how the right technologies can empower your shift to a value-based care model.
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