The patient asked Dr. Shah how much treatment was going to cost, and he hit a wall. He had no idea what the cost of care was. As a resident, he and many others abide by the Hippocratic Oath to first, do no harm, and always keep the patient’s health and safety at the forefront. In training, he says physicians simply are not trained to think about the cost, or financial well-being, of their patients. This lack of knowledge “eroded [the patient’s] trust in me,” Dr. Shah said.
IMPROVING CARE AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE – THEY AREN’T MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE
A recap of the National Symposium on Value Innovation at Yale.
Yale-New Haven Health System (Conn.) recently hosted its first National Symposium on Value Innovation to discuss how the role of collaboration, innovation and data integration can enhance care delivery. More than 200 healthcare professionals attended the event to hear perspectives from industry experts as well as medicine, business and engineering professors from Yale University.
All of the speakers reinforced the fact that collaboration was the key ingredient in delivering better patient care and reducing avoidable care variation. A key finding is this can be accomplished while simultaneously improving financial performance. Yale recently employed a quality first approach to drive more than $150 million in sustainable savings while improving clinical outcomes. They tied together clinical data from their Epic EHR and cost data from their Strata Decision Technology cost accounting system to understand the financial impact, from both a cost and margin perspective, of quality variation.
Experts shared insight on topics such as:
- How to successfully engage clinical leaders and drive meaningful conversations by integrating Rothman Index data to highlight variation in care practices and improve quality and cost variation.
- How to integrate two organizations in a full asset purchase agreement, consolidate clinical services and reduce operating costs.
- How to align efforts to engage payers, as well as how to develop strategic partnerships with industry leaders to address clinical pain points that lead to care and cost variation.
- How to profile clinical and financial variation for multiple service lines with significant clinical variation. Ex: heart and vascular driven by complex patients (i.e. patients transferred in from other hospitals) and musculoskeletal/orthopedics driven by implant variation and negative quality outcomes.
Experts shared the following model that they use to deliver on their clinical and cost targets:
- Everything starts with the specific patient — they are the “North Star.”
- You need defined metrics to know what to fix.
- We have to change healthcare’s incentive from paying for treatment to paying for health.
- It’s about partnership, not control.
- We are going to have to do more with less.
- It’s not data for data’s sake — you have to do something meaningful with it.
- Patients will become the true engine of interoperability.
- You don’t live on data, you live on information.
- We have to work harder to assist (educate) physicians in connecting their specific patient care decisions to avoidable cost variation, and find the best way to get them the data they need when they need it.
- Remember there are no villains, we’re all in this together. The journey will be long and we will make some mistakes along the way.
To receive more information on next year’s National Symposium on Value Innovation at Yale, please visithttp://www.yalevaluesymposium.org/