Broadening the Definition of Value in Value-Based Medicine

The healthcare industry needs to broaden the definition of value in value-based medicine. By expanding our view, we’ll discover new and better methods of compensation that incentivize efficiency in medical practice and enhance relationship-based care. Most value-based compensation has been built around clinical outcomes and this is appropriate, but we should also add incentives for relationship-based care. I have found that one of the most powerful tools in healthcare is a strong relationship between Providers and their patients. The most effective Medical Homes are built around the concept of “Continuous Healing Relationships.”

During my time at Group Health, we worked to enhance this component of care and developed standard measures to help teams know if they were achieving it. We defined standard values for our paying customers, such as “first call resolution” for any clinical question phoned into a clinic – this is easily measurable and can be incented. We also saw the value of virtual medicine and measured the percentage of care given virtually (via phone or email). The higher the percentage, the more convenient our care was for patients and employers, which provided more value.

Nationally, most of the value metrics have been defined in clinical outcomes and this is a great start, but we can also define value more broadly and develop more robust and efficient payment models. Today’s fee-for-service models are barriers to high value care and it’s time for us to construct newer models that reward patient-centric value.

To learn about Continuous Healing Relationships and the value of integrating healthcare, watch my webcast presentation below:

Claire Trescott, M.D.
Practicing Physician & Former Primary Care Medical Director
HCIM Senior Executive Adviser