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Embracing the ripple effect of value-based care

July 09, 2021
Tanjina Shapiro
Tanjina Shapiro

As the chief operating officer at a company that supports health systems and health plans in transitioning to value-based care, providers often ask me how they can best prepare their organization now for the slow-moving progression from fee-for-service to value-based care.

When I am asked this question, I most often share the following anecdote:

Value-based care is like surfing on the ocean. While we all expect to see waves in the ocean - each and every wave is in fact different. Surfers understand this notion and, therefore, pay close attention to the unique properties of each wave before, during, and even post-ride. The same can be said for value-based care. You need to be agile, attentive, and adaptive in order to succeed in this transition – and in surfing.

Today, there is no one-and-done approach to value-based care. It is a step-by-step oriented process and each provider organization must chart their own path. Still, with that in mind, there are best practice approaches and considerations to help ensure that your organization and extended care teams are properly set-up in order to succeed in risk-based contracting in both the near- and long-term.

The following are the three key focus areas that I suggest providers prioritize as they look to operationalize the transition to value-based care.

Establish a flexible change management strategy
The word “change” often induces feelings of fear and discomfort. Based on lessons learned from the pandemic and from the challenges surrounding the adoption of electronic health records, change is particularly exhausted within the healthcare industry. And rightly so as systemic change often impacts the entirety of an organization – including physicians and those who are served by the organization (i.e., patients).

To properly support change management as part of a providers’ overall value-based care strategy, there are a few key change management approaches that must not be overlooked. Most notably, establishing a sense of urgency and defining the purpose behind the change; communicating change to the right teams at the right time; and engaging physician leadership in decision-making to help streamline change management and amplify awareness of the purpose and process. This last approach, in particular, can also help ensure that physician feedback is heard, processed, and applied to make the transition to value-based care more manageable.

Conduct a gap analysis of people, process, and technology
The second focus area for consideration is a thorough gap analysis of people, process, and technology.

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