Patients, consumers must be included in transition to value-based care

Patients and consumers must play a role in payment reform and healthcare delivery redesign, according to a new set of guidelines.

The Health Care Transformation Task Force, a 42-person group made up of providers, payers and representatives from national organizations for employers and patients, released a whitepaper (.pdf) with key points and questions to help guide stakeholders involved in the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care. The goal, according to the task force, is to help better incorporate the consumer viewpoint in healthcare transformation.

Members of the task force noted in a Health Affairs blog post that there are divided definitions of “patient-centered care," and offered a working definition for providers to use: “A person-centered, value-driven health system provides safe, effective, personalized, affordable and high-quality health care services that meet the needs of individual consumers as well as those who support their care, including family, friends, patient-authorized caregivers and community service providers.”

The whitepaper outlines six guiding principles to consider when transitioning to a patient-centered care model:

  • Patients and consumers must be included in decision-making at all levels
  • Make patients, families and other consumers the center of a care team
  • Develop alternative payment models that benefit and protect patients
  • Form policies that promote continued quality improvements
  • Foster the use of patient-centered information technology initiatives
  • Seek to reduce disparities in access and outcomes for all patients

The members of the task force plan to continue refining their guidelines, according to the blog post, but they also encouraged providers and other stakeholders to have serious conversations within their own organizations about how to best transition to value-based care.

“The principles and questions provide a starting point for multi-stakeholder conversations,” the team wrote in the whitepaper. “They will likely be updated and refined as the journey towards a person-centered, value-driven health care system continues.”