Some things in medicine come and go.
Many trends — demands on our time or our practice — start off as the trend du jour but eventually get abandoned for new trends on the horizon.
But there is one trend in medicine that appears to be here to stay— and it’s coming to your state and town, whether you are ready or not.
That trend that’s here to stay? Value-based payment in medicine.
As Fierce Healthcare summarizes, in just 5 years, 700% more states have adopted value-based payment (VBP) systems. Currently, only 4 states have yet to launch a value-based model.
What does that mean for most healthcare providers? It means that it's not enough to simply put our heads down and provide good care for the patient in front of us. In a value-based model, it becomes very much "our problem" whether care coordination happens, whether we need to do medical collaboration, and what "non-medical" things are affecting our patients.
For instance, in a value-based model, there are concrete consequences to referring a patient to a doctor 3 hours away and hoping the patient gets an appointment and that they actually go. The patient may not make it to the appointment, end up with a bad outcome, and ultimately — in addition to the subpar care — it becomes a financial hit for the doctor and her organization. Far better? Use a system like iClickCare to get a 2-minute consult from that provider, while the patient is in front of you.
For a long time, healthcare providers felt that medical collaboration and care coordination were altruistic things they would do "when they had time." In a VBP world, collaboration and coordination are the most practical, incentivized activities in healthcare. Coordinating a medical team means that followup care happens and readmissions drop. Medical collaboration means that you can efficiently pull in providers across the continuum of care to determine the best possible course of treatment — decreasing length of stay.
It's not always the case that the right thing to do and the selfish thing to do are the same. But in a VBP world, the right thing and the selfish thing are the same — use medical collaboration, telemedicine, and care coordination to care for our patients.
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