Change isn’t always easy, particularly when the change is as major as the switch from fee-for-service to value-based care. If you fail to meet metrics and benchmarks set by the Centers for Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurers — your bottom line may suffer. These tips can help you prepare for the transition, whether you work in a hospital or private practice.
Invest in Technology
Meeting your goals is impossible if you can’t quickly identify problems and create strategies to raise dropping scores. A good medical data management system can help you avoid penalties that can threaten your reimbursement level. Practice management software that coordinates with electronic health records (EHR) makes it easy to pull the data you need to track outcomes, identify high-risk patients, spot insurance payment delays, and evaluate your finances. Although upgrading your systems and software may be expensive, the latest technology is a must if you want to remain competitive.
Appoint a Care Coordinator
Care coordinators make it easier for patients to get the care they need. Depending on your patient population, your care coordinator may arrange for transportation to appointments, educate patients about their conditions, explain how medications work, and coordinate care with other physicians, hospitals, laboratories, and ancillary services. If you serve many high-risk patients, you may even want to consider hiring a nurse to coordinate care, provide screenings, and offer support through home visits.
Make Shared Decision-Making a Priority
Shared decision-making is the cornerstone of patient-centered care. When patients play an active role in their care, they’re more likely to follow treatment protocols, take medications as scheduled, and receive follow-up care, which can help outcomes.
Shared decision-making involves providing patients with the details they need to make decisions. In most cases, there’s no need to actually write the information yourself. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers research summaries for consumers that provide information on common diseases and treatments in easy-to-understand language.
Encourage Your Staff
Making the switch to value-based care is a big adjustment for everyone. Sharing the benefits of value-based care — such as better outcomes, improved patient engagement, and lower costs — can help your staff appreciate the reason for the change. Offering incentives, if goals are reached can also help your staff embrace the system. Although bonuses are always welcome, incentives can be as simple as a gift card to a local restaurant or an extra vacation day.
The value-based care system rewards hospitals, clinics, and physicians that not only improve outcomes and have positive patient satisfaction ratings, but also reduce costs. Take a look at the fees laboratories, radiology services, and other services charge your patients. Eliminating higher-cost facilities from your recommendation and referral list is a simple way to lower costs.
Look for ways to reduce your operating costs, too. Shared services arrangements with other medical offices for things like medical supplies, cleaning services, and IT support can help you lower your expenditures.
Implementing these important changes and strategies will help you ensure that you and your staff are fully prepared to make the transition to value-based care.