What is Value-Based Care and What Does it Mean for Patients?
posted by The Live Better Team | October 30, 2019
You may have heard the term “value-based care” at your doctor’s office or on the news, but do you know what it really means? Value-based care is a transformation of our country’s healthcare system. This transformation focuses on better health outcomes (which means healthier patients) and lower costs.
Traditionally, doctors would receive payment for every patient they saw, service they provided and test they ordered, but over time we have learned that this was not the best way to provide care. Why? Because this model often leads to overtreatment and unnecessary care. In a value-based care world, however, doctors receive payment when they are able to prove that the service or test they provided improved their patient’s health. Value is the new standard, not volume.
Another key differentiator between value-based care and traditional healthcare is a shift from reactive care to proactive care. To put it simply, value-based care means that instead of focusing on treating you after you are already sick (although that is still important), healthcare providers focus on preventing disease and detecting conditions in their earliest stages when they are easier and less expensive to treat. The goal is better health and fewer trips to the emergency room.
Value-based care improves your health.
Value-based care is truly about the patient. It’s about a partnership between you and your entire healthcare team looking at your needs, establishing health goals and creating a plan to prevent costly complications. As patients and providers work together to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in our communities, people will need less medical care, which means lower costs.
Value-based care saves you money.
When we focus on the right care in the right place and at the right time, we can reduce the amount of money patients spend on unnecessary healthcare services. It’s important to remember that although value-based care focuses 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 or brand-name medications, then using a comprehensive approach to patient care to keep those costs down.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.