The healthcare industry is in the midst of a shift from fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based care, putting pressure on physicians to make significant changes to their processes and workflows. While value-based models have shown promise, the transition can be intimidating for independent practices, especially when resources are scarce and success seems uncertain.
Adopting a value-based approach to patient care requires significant investments in workflow changes and practice transformation. However, with the right support and an actionable roadmap for success, independent practices can thrive in this space and work effectively to provide more proactive, holistic care for patients while simultaneously bringing benefits to the practice itself.
“An independent physician practice that is participating in value-based care can significantly increase its income by keeping patients healthy,” says Dan Bowles, SVP, Growth & Network Operations for Aledade.
While many independent and small practices want to move into value-based care and achieve these gains for themselves, doing so can be a challenge. Navigating this transition – while retaining independence – requires the right strategy, technology, data and workflows.
Providers should start by clarifying their motivation for moving to accountable care, advised Bowles. Some practices may be feeling more financial pressures; some may be looking for better strategies for addressing a specific issue facing their community, such as substance abuse or high rates of diabetes. Others may be focused on maintaining their independence in a rapidly consolidating market.
No matter what the impetus for exploring value-based care, practices should take the time to be certain about what they are hoping to accomplish.
Once practices are clear about what they hope to achieve, they should take the time to engage in an open dialogue about current procedures, such as how the practice rooms a patient, how the EHR system works, which staff members handle which tasks, and other important factors that govern day-to-day activities.
This conversation should result in an action plan that identifies any weak spots, such as high emergency department utilization or a large number of nursing home admissions. Taking stock of current processes will allow primary care practices to make the adjustments necessary to thrive in the value-based environment.
Setting clear goals and assessing existing procedures can help practices move forward quickly into the next steps for success with accountable care.
To learn more about how to make the transition into the value-based care environment, click below to download our white paper, “A Value-Based Care Roadmap for Primary Care Providers.”