6 tips for succeeding during the shift to value-based care

Primary care physicians are challenged with running an effective practice, providing quality healthcare to their patients, and, now, shifting their practice model from fee-for-service to value-based care. Although independent primary care providers have always been concerned, first and foremost, with the well-being of their patients, value and its measure in the new model will require some effort.

Atlantic Health System CEO Brian Gragnolati has offered some tips for primary care physicians, to help them succeed as they shift to value-based care.

Avoid patient harm. Measuring readmission, mortality and HAIs (healthcare associated infections) will enable the independent physician to focus on preventable harm “and the need, where appropriate, for pre-emptive intervention, such as precautions against falls, pressure ulcers, and line management.”

Measure what affects your ability to get paid. Independent physicians who use electronic health records (EHRs) are able to view patient records and identify patients who aren’t meeting goals based on custom care management protocols, Meaningful Use objectives, or specific document tags, and easily schedule a follow-up appointment to address any potential gaps in care. Interoperability between EHRs is also a key factor here.

Consider patient experience. Integration and coordination with other physicians and healthcare facilities increases the value for the patient and the provider. As Gragnolati points out, “with affordability a top concern to consumers, value has to be a part of the equation from their point of view.”

Measure employee engagement. Given the focus on patient engagement, independent providers may not take the time to ensure their teams are engaged as well. Ensuring that staff understands the practice’s role in general, as well as each individual’s role in the patient’s care, can significantly improve the value of that care.

Conduct patient care huddles. A patient huddle involves the entire staff in discussing and reviewing care plans for the practice’s patients each day.

Build credit strength. The independent physician needs to stay on top of the practice’s financial health as well as the patients’ health, reviewing the balance sheet regularly and ensuring that it is “completely connected to its profit and loss statement.”