October 25, 2017

ICJR Transatlantic Wrap Up: Value-Based Payment is Here to Stay

At the 2017 ICJR Transatlantic Orthopaedic Congress last week our CEO, Bronwyn Spira sat on a panel discussing the inevitable shift towards value-based care and the role of technology enabling the transition.

Bronwyn asked the crowd of 50 attendees who was using technology in their methods of care, and only three people raised their hands. This is proof that there is vast amounts of growth that must occur to fit the new healthcare landscape in which we now find ourselves.

Dr. Richard Iorio, Chief of Joint Reconstruction, a fellow panelist, is no stranger to the massive impact alternative payment models are having on the way we think of delivering healthcare. Dr. Iorio and colleagues Dr. Joseph Bosco and Lorraine Hutzler are part of the Value Based Healthcare Consortium (VBHC), a network focusing on and developing best practices across the orthopedic field.

CMS knows that value-based payment is saving “18% per episode and they can’t turn away from that. Bundled payments are here to stay,” Dr. Iorio said. This fact alone is impossible to ignore. So, whether or not you’re operating within a bundle, the question should be, how do we prepare for this shift to value?

This brings us to our first takeaway -- activate your patients. Patients want to get better. Often times, lack of knowledge and access to care limits progress. But once engaged, patients have the ability to govern their own recovery.

How much can we decrease costs and improve efficiency without sacrificing outcomes? The panel mutually agreed that standardization is key, and the more standardized in a pathway, the better the cost:outcome ratio.

And lastly, as fellow panelist Dr. William Long said, “We need to get patients out of the hospital and back to walking around New York. People die in hospitals, not walking down the sidewalk of New York City.”

Getting patients home is not only safer, but it is where they feel most comfortable and are most likely to become active in their own care. And when patients are equipped with the proper tools to take an active role in their recovery, we’re seeing equivalent outcomes reached at a much lower cost, with higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Success in this new paradigm will only be possible if we think of technology, not as the solution, but as the vehicle for recovery. Despite some physician’s reluctance to utilize technology, the fact of the matter is we’re in a world where physicians are scored by the quality of outcomes, not necessarily the surgery itself. And as Dr. Iorio pointed out, “the data from newly implemented outcomes technology will show shortcomings in your service line that usually aren’t too difficult to fix with available tools.”

If providers can’t communicate what they want from patients in real time, the system doesn’t work efficiently. Patients want to have a dialogue about their care. The little device that you carry around in your hand will power the revolution of value-based care.

As Bronwyn said, “The train is leaving the station, you either have to get on, or get left behind.

Check out our video wrap up of the conference here!