Practical steps providers can take to achieve value-based care

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Since 2010, when President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, the healthcare industry has seen a slew of changes. The switch from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement is one of the most influential and involved of these adjustments. Providers may still need tools to effectively implement this new model into their everyday work. Here are a few practical tips for doctors to achieve value-based care:

Prioritize patient education
Avoiding patient readmittance to the hospital is a key component in demonstrating improved care quality. In fact, provider reimbursement will depend on the rate of readmittance in certain circumstances. Because of this, it is not enough to simply provide care. Doctors must also educate patients on lifestyle adjustments and at-home practices that allow them to maintain their well-being.

Part of effective education involves understanding the patient's needs and preferences. That is, a patient will be much more inclined to apply what he or she has learned in the hospital at home if the lessons cater to their needs. According to a 2016 report from the American Hospital Association, this requires transparency. Clinicians must foster provider-to-patient communication to not only convey important information but to also get a better grasp on the patient as a person. This ultimately allows doctors to adapt their educational strategies to be more effective.

Doctor showing tablet to patient.Patient education is an integral component of value-based care.

Enhance preventative medicine
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are 18 free preventative health services available to all adults, which means patients have plenty of opportunity to be proactive about their well-being. Doctors who encourage patients to take advantage of this offering do not always get through to individuals, however. In fact, depending on the disease, 40 percent of patients may fail to stick to a provider's advice, according to a study published in the journal Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management.

Doctors must employ certain strategies to increase chances of patient adherence to advice. The American Medical Association online resource StepsForward gave the example of preventing Type 2 diabetes, which patients can be screened for free. Clinicians should create awareness of this chronic condition, identify and target at-risk populations, and follow up on progress. This more involved process may help patients be more proactive about their health.

Doctor taking blood pressure of colleague.Doctors must care for their own well-being before focusing on delivering quality care to patients.

Prevent burnout
It may seem cliche, but it certainly rings true: Doctors can't care for others unless they protect their own well-being. One of the main goals of the switch to value-based care is to improve the quality of care, which means providers must be in optimal health to work more efficiently and effectively.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) outlined criteria to promote a better work-life balance and avoid the dangers of extreme work-related stress. For one, doctors can promote their well-being by exercising, which requires deliberately creating time to work out. Additionally, the AAFP urged physicians to fight the need to be constantly independent. Delegating and focusing on teamwork can go a long way in relieving pressure.

Put more focus on analytics
While the move to value-based care aims to put greater focus on the patient, data analytics still plays a major role in the switch from fee-for-service reimbursement. According to Healthcare IT News, the focus on analytics is actually necessary for clinicians to better deliver the more holistic approach required for value-based reimbursement.

This is because data can show a broader picture of patient health, from tracking costs to identifying gaps in care. This allows clinicians to adapt and improve their practices. Of course, leveraging the power of analytics is only possible with the right tools, which means healthcare systems must evaluate their analytics provider options.

IMO makes this process easier on providers. Just consider the capabilities of the CQM Dashboard, which matches local migrated terminology dictionaries and IMO content to compare it against Clinical Quality Measure standards. This evaluates whether medical facilities can feasibly measure patient populations for adequate reporting, alerting them if they need to adjust their practices. Plus, the CQM Dashboard stays current with Value Set Authority Center updates and prepares medical facilities for the current and following reporting years. In turn, this allows healthcare systems to improve care quality, enhance accuracy of reporting and drive efficiency.

If ever users should run into an issue, the IMO Intelligent Service Desk is a great tool for asking questions. With easy-to-navigate drop-down menus, providers can quickly clear up uncertainties. Clients can maintain confidence in the accuracy of responses considering IMO works with the American Health Information Management Association to determine answers.

IMO clinical terminology is the most widely used in the industry - find out why.