Value-Based Healthcare: A Path to Better Decision-Making and Health Outcomes
Shikha Kumari, Deputy Director, National University Health System
Shikha Kumari, an engineer and MBA graduate from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines, brings over fifteen years of experience. Initially a business consultant at a Big Four firm, she transitioned to the healthcare industry in 2014, joining the National University Health System (NUHS) in Singapore. Currently, she is dedicated to advancing value-based healthcare through technology and data analytics.
In conversation with Prisila, Correspondent, Asia Business Outlook Magazine, Shikha shared her views on how value-based healthcare leverages data and technology for improved decision-making and outcomes, emphasizing its role in enhancing population health and reducing health disparities.
Advantages of Transitioning from Fee-for-Service to Value-Based Healthcare.
In the traditional healthcare model, doctors provide services and patients pay for those services without considering the actual value or outcomes. This fee-for-service approach often leads to excessive tests and treatments without accountability for their necessity or effectiveness.
Value-based healthcare, pioneered by Michael Porter and Elizabeth Teisberg, offers a different perspective. It defines value in healthcare based on four key pillars: clinical outcomes, appropriateness of care, patient satisfaction, and patient-reported outcomes. Instead of paying solely for services rendered, value-based healthcare focuses on the quality of care provided and the associated costs.
This framework encourages healthcare providers and payers to evaluate the data and determine the value of the care they deliver. It's a shift away from a quantity-driven system towards one that prioritizes the actual health outcomes and overall patient well-being. Value-based healthcare strives to improve patient care while optimizing healthcare spending, making it a significant evolution in the healthcare industry.
EMRs are not just a convenience but a fundamental enabler for the implementation of value-based healthcare
How Quality Measurement and Performance Improvement Drive High-Quality Care and Cost Reduction in Value-Based Healthcare
The introduction of quality measurement and the implementation of value-based healthcare have significantly improved the medical field. By making data transparent and accessible to doctors, providers, and payers, it has led to a heightened awareness of the necessity of medical procedures and interventions. This newfound transparency prompts healthcare professionals to question the value and impact of their actions, leading to a reduction in unnecessary treatments and tests. Quality is now measurable, and when results fall short, efforts are made to understand and rectify the reasons behind it. This transformation is not just a promotional concept; it's a proven way to enhance the quality of healthcare by ensuring that every medical decision is made with a critical eye towards its true benefit.
Value-Based Healthcare Enhances Data and Technology for Informed Decision-Making and Improved Outcomes
Value-based healthcare relies on the efficient measurement and analysis of patient outcomes. To achieve this, a robust data capture system is essential. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) play a pivotal role in this process. Without an EMR, tracking patient information becomes impractical and inefficient, making it challenging to assess the quality of care.
The relationship between technology like EMR and value-based healthcare is similar to a chicken-and-egg scenario. Having a well-implemented EMR system enables precise and structured data collection, which is the cornerstone of value-based healthcare. It allows healthcare providers to track patient stays, monitor their progress, and detect complications.
In contrast, clinics relying solely on paper-based records struggle to compile and analyze this crucial data. The ability to evaluate the quality of care is severely limited without a comprehensive electronic record system.
In essence, EMRs are not just a convenience but a fundamental enabler for the implementation of value-based healthcare. They empower healthcare professionals to gather the necessary data, which, in turn, facilitates a deeper understanding of the outcomes they deliver. This relationship between technology and healthcare is intrinsic, ensuring better patient care and informed decision-making.
Value-Based Healthcare: Advancing Population Health and Reducing Disparities.
Value-based healthcare is a transformative concept centered on delivering high-quality clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction at a rationalized cost. The traditional fee-for-service model often lacks incentives for reducing unnecessary procedures, as more tests can mean more revenue for healthcare providers. To make value-based healthcare a reality, a critical component is implementing appropriate payment mechanisms. Capitation and bundle payments are emerging as effective strategies.
Capitation involves receiving a fixed budget to care for a defined patient population. The incentive lies in keeping the community healthy through preventive measures, ultimately reducing the need for expensive interventions. If the population remains well, providers can save costs and, in some cases, keep a portion of the budget. However, if the population's health deteriorates, more resources are needed, which can strain the budget.
In essence, value-based healthcare, driven by payment reform, encourages better population health outcomes and efficient care. These elements are interconnected, providing a promising path toward healthcare delivery that prioritizes value over volume.
"Value-based healthcare is a transformative concept centered on delivering high-quality clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction at a rationalized cost"
Challenges in Transitioning to Value-Based Care and Strategies to address them
Encouraging healthcare providers to do the right thing is paramount. However, defining what the right thing is can be complex. It's essential to avoid unnecessary tests and prioritize the health of the population. We must acknowledge that the complexity of cases can affect the quality of outcomes. Comparing doctors who handle simpler cases to those dealing with intricate situations can be misleading. If we don't establish a fair framework, there's a risk of cherry-picking, where providers opt for straightforward cases to boost their statistics. This could lead to avoiding complex cases, undermining patient care. Therefore, it's crucial to implement a well-thought-out framework that doesn't inadvertently promote cherry-picking behavior. These challenges need careful consideration in healthcare management, to ensure that the focus remains on providing the best care for all patients.
Conclusion: In our current situation, fee-for-service models are unsustainable. With limited resources and an aging population, we must prioritize essential care, avoid unnecessary treatments, tests, and costs. Our healthcare system is constrained, and we risk making it unaffordable for many. It's crucial to be mindful of these limitations and use resources prudently to benefit a larger population.