For decades, now, healthcare and senior services have been reimbursed according to volume. This fee-for-service method is now going by the wayside as providers strive to incorporate value based care. Under the changes brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, value based care is to be built soundly on efficiency and quality. It’s about finding better ways to do things to bring about even higher quality care at lower costs.
Value based care has been set up by the federal government based on a “triple aim,” which is:
- To improve the individual patient’s experience
- To improve efficiency and lower costs
- To improve outcomes on a population level
These three aims are very powerful ways of not only improving care, but they also help to bring down operational costs. It’s a win-win situation.
Here’s how the triple aim brings down senior living operating costs:
Improving the resident experience.
Boosting preventative care drastically affects the individual’s experience in a senior living home in a positive way, with the trickle-down effect of providing good word-of-mouth marketing. Under value based care, seniors take a more active part in their care, increasing their sense of power and independence, while at the same time preventing falls and the onset of chronic disease—both of which save money. Through the use of apps and social media, seniors can take charge and get involved in their care and begin to realize they play a big role in the state of their own health. Preventative care is emphasized and reimbursed under value based care, changing the focus from reactive medicine to proactive medicine. Operating costs are much lower when caring for healthy residents than when caring for sick ones, and healthier residents are happier.
Value based care maximizes the use of senior living beds by filling them on a steady basis through referrals from hospitals partnering with senior care homes in accountable care organizations (ACOs). ACOs create teams of providers along the entire continuum of care striving together to lower costs and improve efficiency. Instead of striving to keep all beds full, under value based care strategies, a portion of beds are left open for patient residents who are cycling through from rehab and acute care facilities.
Residents who enter a senior home through a referral from an acute care facility improve rapidly under the improved care provided by value based care. This is because big data is used to analyze care strategies and to find the best in evidence-based care. Technology, such as artificial intelligence and passive monitors gather healthcare data, which when analyzed, contributes to care and the prevention of rehospitalizations. ACOs are rewarded for preventing rehospitalizations, thus opening up funding for operational costs.
The advent of electronic health records and senior living monitoring technology has paved the way for value based care. The two go hand-in-hand. IT and cooperation between providers will bring about the triple aim, lowering American healthcare costs and improving life expectancy. Lower operating costs are just a bonus to go with the priceless improvement of the human existence.