For better or for worse, healthcare does not exist in a bubble. Everything about it—available funding, legal guidelines, ongoing research, and even patient expectations—are shaped by developments in other industries. And that has impacted the industry’s move toward value-based care.
As Deloitte’s 2016 Consumer Priorities in Health Care Survey explains, this means advances in seemingly unrelated fields can impact healthcare in so many ways.
Deloitte uses airlines as an example: Consumers can quickly and easily book flights using mobile apps, taking the hassle out of arranging travel. So, patients wonder, why can’t doctor’s appointments be scheduled in that way, too?
The overarching theme here is clear, says Deloitte: “Consumers seek high-quality service tailored to their specific needs from healthcare providers and administrative staff.”
This is where value-based care comes in—and here’s what that means for both patients and healthcare providers.
Value-Based Care: The Future Of Healthcare Is Now
Back in October 2013, the Harvard Business Review boldly declared that value-based care is “the strategy that will fix health care.”
Compared to its predecessor, volume-based care, value-based care encourages healthcare organizations to shift their focus from quantity to quality (really, it should’ve always been that way). This requires major adjustments across healthcare—from how care is delivered to how doctors are compensated for delivering it.
As with any major industry-wide transition, the move to value-based care is not without its hiccups. But this shift is necessary in order for healthcare as a whole to be able to provide its consumers—that is, patients—with not only the care that they need, but also the care that they deserve.
Making Value-Based Care A Win-Win For Patients And Providers
Three years after the Harvard Business Review’s declaration about value-based care, an article in NEJM Catalyst explained, “The shift from volume-based to value-based healthcare is inevitable.”
But some healthcare organizations are struggling to adjust as reimbursement systems scramble to move toward rewarding high-quality care rather than high-volume care.
The NEJM Catalyst article adds that this change means organizations need to shift their focus from short-term profits—a view encouraged by the old quantity based fee-for-service system—to the more long-term gains that value-based care aims for.
Ultimately, the skills and mindsets needed to successfully make this shift will benefit patients and providers. For instance, organizations that have already started to transition toward value-based care have prioritized:
- Innovation: Embracing change can create sustainability within an organization because it shows patients that providers are able to adapt over time
- Risk management: Looking at the full spectrum of care, from prevention to intervention to rehabilitation, ensures that patients get the appropriate care at all times—and providers see more successful outcomes
- Collaboration: Providers who are able to build relationships both within and outside of healthcare are better able to understand and serve the complex needs of their patients
With the future of the Affordable Care Act up in the air, healthcare finds itself once again at a crossroads. What this means for value-based care specifically is uncertain.
However, as a November 2016 Modern Healthcare article states, “Efforts to move away from fee-for-service to value-based care are also enshrined in places besides the Affordable Care Act.”
This suggests that healthcare will continue to increasingly emphasize that high-quality care that patients not only want, but deserve. While the transition will not be without its challenges, this change is one that will ultimately benefit providers and patients alike.
How is your healthcare organization using value-based care to meet changing patient needs? Share your story in the comments.