The idea behind value-based care is simple: improve the quality of healthcare while simultaneously reducing costs. Healthcare organizations around the country, including outpatient clinics, hospitals and insurance providers, have been making the shift to value-based care over the past several years, and many patients are now seeing the effects of this shift.
Revere Health began it’s journey with value-based care in 2005 with a focus on quality, then took a big step in 2011 when it became the first Accountable Care Organization accredited by Medicare in Utah. Today Revere Health is an industry leader in this area. So what exactly does value-based care mean for me and why should I care about it as a patient? Here are answers to some of the most common patient questions.
What is value-based care?
Value-based care is all about what’s best for the patient. Traditionally, healthcare providers get paid based on the number of procedures they perform or patients they see. In a value-based care model, healthcare providers aren’t paid by the volume of their services but by their ability to improve their patients’ health, reduce costs and increase patient satisfaction.
How does it work?
Revere Health uses patient data and an electronic health record to make sure each patient gets the best value for their dollar. By looking at your vital signs, symptoms and overall health status over time, your doctors can see how your health is improving or worsening and recommend cost-effective lifestyle changes that are specific to your circumstance. For example, if your doctor sees that your blood pressure is increasing over time, he or she may suggest preventive measures to lower your blood pressure on your own before your high blood pressure puts you at risk for other conditions with expensive treatments. Your doctors can also see what procedures and preventive screenings you’ve had, even from non-Revere Health providers. This eliminates duplicate testing and the possibility of unnecessary procedures, saving you and your insurer money.
What does value-based care mean for me?
In a value-based care model, you are truly the focus. You and your entire healthcare team look at your needs individually and create a plan to treat your conditions and prevent future complications.
Prevention is key to value-based care and better overall health. Instead of providing reactive care, this model emphasizes proactive care. Next time you are with your doctor, he or she may ask you if you’ve had your annual flu shot or if you’ve gotten regular health screenings. This can help you detect problems in their earliest stages and live a healthier, happier life. Regular check ups and good health habits not only help you stay healthy but also prevent the need for costly treatments down the road.
Does value-based care really save money?
Patients are paying more and more for their healthcare as high deductible plans become more prevalent, and price is a major consideration when looking for doctors or treatments. So, it benefits you as a patient to seek out healthcare systems that are actively working to keep costs as low as possible. Although value-based care does focus on reducing costs, it doesn’t mean “cheap” healthcare and it certainly doesn’t mean cutting corners or taking shortcuts. It simply means being aware of some of the things that cost patients the most money, like hospital admissions, trips to the emergency room, unnecessary testing, surgical locations or brand-name medications, and using a comprehensive approach to overall patient health to keep those costs down.
Patients won’t always see those cost savings translate to immediate reductions in their insurance premiums, but they can see an immediate difference in their out-of-pocket costs by choosing to get their care from health organizations that practice value-based care.
If you have more questions about how value-based care benefits you, talk with your doctor.