Health execs prepare for immediate shift to value-based care

As Medicare plans to launch its hospital value-based purchasing (VBP) program in October, healthcare executives are preparing to lead their institutions away from the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement, a task that requires balance and timing, according to a survey of more than 200 hospital and health system executives by Forbes Insights.

Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of C-suite respondents completely or somewhat agreed that providers must immediately start focusing on quality, not quantity, according to a Forbes Insights research announcement released yesterday.

Despite the sense of immediacy, switching from volume to value will take time. "This is such a huge part of the U.S. economy, it's just not going to shift quickly like that overnight," Banner Health President and CEO Peter S. Fine said in the survey. "The cultural issues are so great, I think it's a slow process regardless of whatever incentives are created to make it move faster," said the chief executive of the Phoenix-based health system.

Healthcare execs still need to determine what portion of their revenues will come from VBP. Only 12 percent think that more than a quarter of their revenues will come from VBP reimbursement within the next three years. The long-term outlook is a bit brighter, with 39 percent of healthcare execs expecting value-based payments to make up at least a quarter of their revenues.

The survey also showed that half of the respondents think physician engagement is the biggest barrier to transitioning to VBP. "The medical staff is always the hard part of the process," N.J.-based LibertyHealth CFO Paul R. Goldberg said in the survey. "Doctors aren't seeing anything [economic] on their side related to this."

In addition to getting docs on board, a successful transition from volume to value requires investment in advanced analytics and clinical information to evaluate performance data, as well as holding all stakeholders, including clinicians, staff and patients, accountable for quality improvements, according to the survey.

To learn more:
- read the Forbes Insights research announcement
- here's the survey (.pdf)

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