Value-based payment models aim to address rising healthcare costs, clinical inefficiency and duplication of services. To survive in an industry with increasing competition a solid understanding of the business case for implementing value based care is imperative.
The most notable value based care program currently is the MACRA Quality Payment Program, which provides the option to participate in MIPS or an advanced APM. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog posts recently you may already know that the deadline for the last MIPS performance period of the year is October 2nd, and that as long as you start collecting data by that date you will be able to report successfully.
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But some provider groups and health systems may still not understand that there is a good business case to be made for investing time and money into shifting to value based care. So if you’re still grappling with whether or not it’s worthwhile to participate, here are two important points for your consideration:
Data gathered through value based care programs like MACRA can be leveraged to improve patient satisfaction and quality across the care continuum. For example, implementing Health IT solutions can get patients more invested in their own care and can give them easier access to information they want, while at the same time the data you collect about patient use of these solutions can fulfill the Advancing Care Information component of the MIPS score and Meaningful Use stage 3 measures (which are still being used for Medicaid).
And note that patients are clearly interested in using Health IT: a recent survey found that almost one-third of them have used text message appointment reminders in the past year, and almost as many used E-prescription filling services or accessed their health records online. Similar percentages of patients would be interested in using these technologies in the future.
Return on Investment
During a panel discussion at a recent Becker's Hospital Review Conference, healthcare technology leader Todd Stewart, MD, had this to say about the importance of operational efficiency in healthcare:
"Hospitals can no longer expect to have decent margins by just providing a service, billing for the service and collecting. The days of healthcare having decent margins are over. Everyone is out of money, so you have to focus on these efficiencies. Strong management and efficiency are survival mechanisms for hospitals that must adapt or die."
In other words, times are changing, and efficiency matters more than ever for your bottom line. But how can hospitals identify inefficiencies in the first place, and what steps can they then take to improve? An important tool in this endeavor is healthcare analytics, and there is significant overlap between effective leverage of your data and reporting success.
Consider that while adopting new technologies may still be a necessary part of the transition to value based care, you may already be collecting useful but underused data. At the Becker's conference, Health IT expert Jake Dorst listed BMI, high blood pressure, smoking status, and cholesterol as a few types of data that are often readily available but are rarely used to their full potential. If you are collecting any of these kinds of data via your EHR or in some other way, you may already be able to fulfill or partially fulfill some MIPS Quality Measures (for example, data on BMI screenings and follow-up plans can fulfill Measure 128).
So take some time today to seriously consider the benefits of shifting to value-based care before time runs out for this year. We think you might find it worthwhile. And if you still have questions, check out our MIPS Resource Library or subscribe to the Healthmonix Advisor, where we’ve addressed a vast range of topics that can help you make sense of everything MACRA and MIPS.