Waiting for legislation to be passed or for new regulations to be implemented can leave independent physicians struggling to determine how their practices should operate. The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in doubt. Some Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directives and demos have been delayed. Independent physicians have always been focused first and foremost on the quality of their patient care though, and so should now be proactive about moving toward value-based care in their practices.
Yele Aluko, MD, MBA and Christer Johnson, MBA, writing in Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, suggest that “providers must be cognizant of the need to understand quality as defined through the lens of the consumer and the payer, and also be prepared to integrate the softer but real metrics of patient satisfaction and experience into their performance management activities.” They also recommend three steps that “healthcare providers can take to develop readiness in value-based decision-making”:
- Transform the culture of provider organizations.
- Invest in business intelligence and advanced analytics tools.
- Collaborate with payers in developing alternative payment models
Independent physicians who take advantage of advanced technology tools for their practice, such as an EHR system, are moving in the right direction toward providing that value-based care. To provide quality care for their patients, independent physicians must be able to collaborate with other providers and encourage communication with their patients. When a patient is able to ask questions and receive messages directly from the provider in a seamless, secure platform, their satisfaction will improve, as will the quality of their healthcare.
An independent physician who is proactive in engaging the patient and in providing collaborative, value-based care is able to bridge that value-based decision making gap. Moving forward with quality care over fee-based care benefits the patient and the practice.