3 helpful tips for physician barriers to value-based care

Providing quality care is, of course, a priority for independent physicians. The recent shift to value-based care, away from fee-for-service reimbursement, would seem to be welcome news for physicians who want their practice to focus on quality health outcomes rather than on the quantity of patient visits. However, some of the regulations and requirements imposed by the value-based care measurements may pose obstacles to independent physicians.

Thomas J. Van Gilder, MD, JD, MPH, writing in Medical Economics, recently pinpointed three of those obstacles and provided some guidance in overcoming each of them.

Physicians do not have all of the data they need. There is a communication gap between the primary care physician and other providers that are seeing the patient. Information must be shared between all providers involved in a patient’s care in order for that care to be truly value-based. Relying on the patient to relay information between multiple providers can lead to dangerous errors.

Optimizing the use of electronic health records to maintain patient data and to share information with multiple providers enables the independent physician to overcome this barrier.

Physicians are not trained to respond to tedious reporting requirements. While the shift to value-based care is enticing to the independent physician who wants to focus on patient care, it also comes with many regulations and requirements that the physician is not necessarily equipped to deal with efficiently.

Dr. VanGilder suggests that this barrier can be overcome with “improved electronic workflows, sustained by technology designed to support, not hinder, communication between physicians and patients.” Hiring staff more equipped to respond to reporting requirements will also help the independent physician overcome this barrier to value-based care.

Physicians do not have the support tools they need to practice value-based care effectively. A Deloitte survey found that “roughly three in four physicians have tools with clinical protocols designed to meet quality goals, but few (36%) have access to comprehensive protocols spanning multiple conditions.”

Independent physicians need to be engaged in the development process, to ensure their support tools are helping, not hindering, their clinical workflows. Physicians should also take advantage of these tools to provide quality care and succeed in the new value-based care model.