Embracing Value-Based Care: A Call to Leadership

In healthcare’s changing landscape, VBC isn’t a trend; it’s a foundational overhaul. It may seem like it’s in the distance, but 2030 is actually around the corner. Healthcare is certainly not known for rapid acceptance of change, but with such broad-based value-based mandates approaching, organizations need to embrace the upcoming changes, gain important knowledge, and commit to the process of change. The alternative is simple – be proactive, or be faced with the steep learning curves that can affect your ability to positively participate in value-based care.

Early Engagement Yields Success

It’s important, the sooner administrative staff and physicians engage in value-based programs, the better-positioned organizations will be for success. Some wonder if initiatives like ACO Reach offer a pathway to this transformation. The answer is both yes and no. While it’s the primary care physicians who carry the greatest responsibility and risk as the convener of value-based programs, it’s the specialists that can take program savings and performance to the next level.

Building the Future, Today

Preparing for the VBC journey is like preparing for any new process change – it’s never fun, there will be bumps along the road, and success takes time. However, staying ahead of the curve by actively participating in program development ensures a seat at the decision-making table, rather than being a passive bystander.

Consider the analogy of docking a ship: pulling in a cruise liner versus a speedboat. It takes time and deliberate effort to maneuver larger vessels. Similarly, deploying VBC programs within an organization demands patience and strategic planning. Realistically, it could take up to two years to fully implement such initiatives, though focused dedication might shorten this timeframe.

Leadership: The Key to Success

Central to success are champions within the organizations. It’s key to have an administrative champion who becomes well-versed in all aspects of VBC and can provide important guidance on many areas from operational modifications to claims processing and from new contracting to finance. Needless to say, a physician champion is also mandatory as value-based programs will affect the fundamental practice of medicine. Physician leadership will ensure value-based programs focus on best-in-class healthcare pathways, improve outcomes, and most importantly, an environment that serves the ultimate customer – the patient.

A Case Study in Success

“Leadership needs to do as much as possible to embrace value-based programs so that they can help their organizations reduce struggles that will occur as programs become mandatory,” advises Chris Adkins, VP, Enlace Health. “Ideally, the administrative champion possesses comprehensive knowledge of VBC including contracting, care pathways, care management, claims processing, operational workflows.”

Drawing from over 15 years of VBC experience leading one of the largest orthopedic practices, Adkins witnessed that advantages of proactive engagement, “As we developed and expanded our MSK bundled payments program, we were rewarded by our early-adoption strategy. Being one of the leading participants, we leveraged our success as another foundational block for volume growth, financial returns, and patient satisfaction.”

Visionary organizations will position themselves for long-term success in an evolving healthcare landscape. In the era of value-based care, rewards await those who seize the opportunity early. The time for action is now.


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