Value-based healthcare is a delivery model in which providers are compensated based on patient health outcomes. Under value-based care agreements, providers (including hospitals and physicians) are recognized for helping patients improve their health, reduce the ramifications and incidence of chronic disease, and live a healthier lifestyle in an evidence-based process.
Value-based care is different from a traditional fee-for-service (FFS) approach. FFS providers are paid based on the amount of healthcare services they deliver. The “value” in value-based healthcare is derived from measuring health outcomes against the cost of delivering the outcomes.
Benefits Of Value-Based Healthcare
1.) Quality and patient engagement measures increase when the focus is on value instead of volume. In addition, providers are not placed at the financial risk that comes with fee-for-service payment systems.
2.) Value-based care models focus on helping patients recover from illnesses and injuries quicker and avoid chronic disease in the first place. As a result, patients face fewer doctor’s visits, tests, and procedures, and they keep more money in their pockets on medication.
3.) Less money is spent helping people manage chronic diseases and experience expensive inpatient and medical emergencies. Value-based care has the promise to significantly reduce overall costs spent on healthcare.
ASCs are Positioned to Add Extra Value
Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) are designed to provide cost-effective, quality care. Now, with value-based care, they are already positioned to make good on the model’s mission.
For example, infection rates* after surgeries performed at outpatient surgical centers are quite low. This can be attributed to the fact that many ASCs have specialized areas and a focused approach with less variables, which leads to less complications. This ripple effect is the perfect equation for value-based care.
It’s important to make sure that consumers truly understand and appreciate the value-based care provided by an ASC. In addition to delivering quality care at a reduced cost, ASCs need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. In other words, they need to prove it to consumers.
Helping Patients Find the Value in Value-Based Care
Transparency + Sharing Success
Some healthcare providers go as far as sharing prices for procedures on their websites. Unfortunately, what is not shared with consumers due to HIPAA, are surgical results. Prospective patients do not necessarily know if a surgeon has had stellar surgical outcomes — from complications, to death. So it’s important for ASCs to provide transparency in any way possible. Calculate recovery rates by surgeon, for example, vs. average patient recovery time. Get creative in showcasing commitment to outcomes.
Customer Service + Clinical Excellence
Of course an ASC encourages surgeons and healthcare providers to follow best practices, but sharing this with the online community is incredibly important. In today’s Google-heavy, social media crazed world, customer service has never been more critical. Clinical and non-clinical employees are the frontlines of ensuring a “positive” experience in what is typically an uneasy medical circumstance. Viral and online channels will either serve your bottom-line through referrals or hurt it through scathing reviews — make sure staff is in alignment to make patient needs and comfort levels as high as possible.
There is enough pain associated with medical procedures, the patient doesn’t need to worry about more discomfort once it comes time to process medical bills. A competent and trained ASC billing staff member will help standardize coding and billing accurately. Patients deserve to understand both charges and cost savings in relation to value-based care.
Patient-Centered Care: Look into the Future
As the healthcare terrain continues to advance and providers increase their implementation of value-based care models, moving from a fee-for-service to a fee-for-value system, they may see short-term financial hits before longer-term costs decline. However, the transition from fee-for-service to fee-for-value has been embraced as the best method for lowering healthcare costs while increasing quality care and helping people lead healthier lives. By implementing these strategies, an ASC can improve patient experience and outcomes, and decrease costs. Most importantly, they can influence consumers’ appreciation and understanding of the value in value-based care.