A foot in each canoe — How value-based care requires organizationwide balance

Hospitals implementing value-based care practices can often recover modest amounts of spending, but to realize these savings facilities must be mindful of how quality, finance and analytics transverse the value-based continuum.

Accelerate Diagnostics Head of Clinical Intervention Solutions Pete Bantock and Owens & Minor Vice President of Sales Enablement Angela McNally led a discussion on quality, finance and supply chain during an April 11 panel at the Becker's Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting, April 11 to April 14 in Chicago.

Here are three of their most pertinent thoughts.

Editor's note: Quotes have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

1. Angela McNally: What we've seen over the last few years when we started to do value-based care, everyone thought 'that just means go to the vendor and ask them to lower their price.' We've captured the low-hanging fruit from that perspective and now it's time to look at supply chain and how we can make it sustainable and lean, while making sure our clinicians and physicians have the product when they need it to take care of that patient at any moment."

2. Pete Bantock: There are opportunities for workflow and process enhancements in and outside of the lab. As an example, in patients who are admitted with suspected sepsis, the traditional protocols calls for blood to be drawn and sent to the lab for infectious pathogen testing. Here it’s important that specimen processing is handled efficiently and effectively. This is where there are opportunities for improvement: We often find that specimens take several hours from draw time to reaching the laboratory. We also find that there are time delays in laboratory processing as well as from the availability of result to administration of revised therapy. The literature points to the fact that for every hour the patient is not on the appropriate antibiotic, their chances of survival decreases by 7.6 percent. … So it's important that we optimize all of these workflows to enhance the treatment of patients with sepsis.

3. Ms. McNally on incorporating bundled payments: "It is 'Are you ready?' because it's a big change on how you manage your patients. We need to figure out how you manage that balance. There was a speaker earlier that talked about a person standing with a foot in two canoes. So how do you stand in two canoes and balance your fee-for-service with value-based payments, and how are we going to make that transition? It's really important. You have to have your physicians along for this process, you have to have caretakers in place and another big component of that is what does your post-acute network look like? You have to make sure you capture that.

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