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The number of patients that need to be treated in a day and the time demands of frequent appointments have long overwhelmed most physicians in traditional fee-for-service (FFS) arrangements. The FFS model ties better income to volume of patients, but the hours dedicated to required tasks outside direct patient care often occupy the time physicians would rather spend looking after patients. Time pressures on physicians are real, with primary care physicians often working after hours to meet all their obligations.
The issue lies largely with the conventional FFS payment system requiring physicians to see more patients, while taking on the bulk of work outside patient visits themselves. Moving patients in and out of consultation rooms in 15-minute intervals means treatment or work satisfaction may be lacking. It is nearly impossible to establish good relationships with patients in such a short period or have deep discussions that may uncover reasons their health is being negatively affected.
The care team, value-based model works well, especially for elderly patients, who often have chronic and difficult illnesses, along with psychosocial risk factors. In a team approach, staff does much of the paperwork and helps with patients’ non-medical care, allowing physicians to concentrate on what they are qualified and love to do – patient care. When physicians have increased time for patient visits, the odds of developing a true partnership go up, giving time for understanding patient health goals and desires and determining support services they may need.
The leadership tasked with introducing this approach must completely commit to proper implementation to make the value-based care paradigm work. The emphasis on performance metrics requires ensuring effective resources are in place. This means defining specific team functions, scheduling ongoing meetings with the care team to discuss patient cases, and reinforcing quality over quantity.
A genuine system of value-based medicine necessitates physicians become well-informed about the model. Comprehensive knowledge would assure value-based medicine is applied to serve patients and physicians as intended.
This update is provided by CareOptimize. We provide healthcare management consulting services and products, managed care solutions, value-based expertise, Nextgen EHR utilities, MIPS consulting, and more. CareOptimize has helped numerous healthcare organizations succeed for more than a decade. For more information, please call 855.937.8475.