Within five days of the inauguration, the Health Care Transformation Task Force (HTTF) sent a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence with an urgent message. That message . . . continue to keep the value-based, patient-centered health care model a priority. Put the needs of patients first!
The task force includes leaders throughout the industry. It noted that the change from a fee-for-service to a value-based model has evolved over 20 years through the work of “bipartisan leadership’” in Congress. They also point out that the fee-for-service model, initiated over 50 years ago, hinders advancements in innovation and care coordination.
Throughout the years, complex regulations have made this model difficult to administrate. This model also created low quality and unaffordable health care for patients. The position of the HTTF is that the movement to a value-based model has improved the patient experience and resulted in decreased costs.
The letter outlines ten key areas the task force considers a priority in continuing to successfully implement the value-based model, which will result in the full expansion of patient-centered health care.
Health care was a hot issue during the recent presidential campaign. It will continue to be at the forefront as the new administration works with Congress. A specific focus will be the Affordable Care Act. A repeal of or any changes to the ACA may significantly impact the value-based health care model.
The task force declared its commitment to working diligently with the new administration to achieve the goals outlined in their letter in order to “reach and surpass the tipping point where value-based health care becomes a sustainable marketplace for generations of Americans to come.”
Regardless of what anyone might think of the Affordable Care Act, it is clear that change needs to happen in health care. Despite his obvious dislike for the ACA, President Trump claims that his new plan will still provide “insurance for everybody”. However, it is unclear even to Republican lawmakers what this plan entails exactly. What little we do know indicates that the focus will be on lowering costs.
The question here, of course, is exactly how will they reduce costs. As noted above, a value-based system has been shown to reduce costs in addition to generating better patient outcomes. It is a definite win-win. But does anyone outside the industry truly understand this concept? “Value-based”, of course, does not necessarily mean “lower cost”. Rather, it focuses on achieving desirable patient outcomes. This is as opposed to the current system, which focuses on delivering some volume of services.
Assuming the powers-that-be can weather the storm sure to be created by those who profit the most from the current, broken system, continuing to implement a value-based system is sure to pay off – in all possible ways – in the long run. After all, value translates to outcomes divided by cost, which means the concept of efficiency is essentially “built in.” But they must take care. Simply reducing costs without taking outcomes into consideration will mean everyone will pay the price eventually, and not just in dollars.