value-based healthcare

Why is value-based healthcare so important?

First of two parts.

Everyone, it seems, is talking about trying to reduce the cost of healthcare. At Signature Medical Group, we’re actually doing something about it.

Signature is a national leader in value-based care that can reduce costs and improve outcomes for patients.

How does value-based care differ from traditional healthcare models?

In value-based care, doctors and hospitals are reimbursed for helping keep people healthy and for improving the health of those who have chronic conditions in a cost-effective way.

This differs from traditional fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement, the payment method most widely used in healthcare. With FFS, doctors and hospitals are reimbursed based on the number of services they deliver, such as tests and procedures. Payment generally has little to do with whether a patient’s health improves.

Under FFS, healthcare is fragmented with many providers who lack the focus on the overall value of care for the patient. Many healthcare experts believe that FFS is a major reason costs have driven upward.

Proponents of value-based care maintain that coordination of a patient’s care between all providers improves quality and leads to more savings.

The promise of value-based care is especially important to Medicare.  Baby boomers are now entering Medicare in record numbers, and with rising costs, the viability of the  program is in jeopardy. For this reason, the agency that oversees Medicare has created a number of value-based care models to determine if providers can help Medicare rein in spending without diminishing the quality of care.

Signature Medical Group has tackled the challenge to reduce cost and improve care through its voluntary participation in Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative. BPCI links payments for the many services Medicare patients receive in an episode of care, such as a hip or knee joint replacement.

(Part II of this series will detail Signature’s leadership role in BPCI.)