Bon Secours wants community health payment model

Bon Secours Hospital wants to try a new payment model, in which the Baltimore hospital would address community health problems to lower admissions, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.

That would make Bon Secours the first urban hospital to use the state's Total Patient Revenue (TPR) model, which pays hospitals one lump sum for their services, rather than per service payments.

As of now, Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission works with 10 rural hospitals, including Western Maryland Health Systems, that use the TPR payment model and have a guaranteed budget to experiment with healthcare solutions in their community.

Under the payment model, Western Maryland Health Systems has taken steps to improve patients' health outside of the hospital walls, such as offering a wound center, a behavioral health clinic, a diabetes clinic and more primary care practices and staffers, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Western Maryland Health Systems has seen admissions decline 15 percent and readmissions fall from 16 percent to 9 percent over three years.

Such results reinforce an August Health Affairs study that indicates a community business model that addresses nonclinical factors of health outcomes shows promise for improving population health.

Similarly, University of Arizona public health researchers conclude hospitals can use community health workers (CHW) to significantly influence the health outcomes of low-income and underserved populations. Hospitals may add more community health workers to their employee ranks, given CWHs can perform nonclinical tasks now completed by higher trained and higher-paid caregivers, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

"For me it's another accelerator that moves us toward population health," Bon Secours CEO Samuel Ross, M.D., told the Business Journal about the new payment model. He said he wants to retroactively apply the TPR model for fiscal year 2014.

For more:
- here's the Business Journal article