In the ever-evolving healthcare industry, change is constant. The rise of value-based care and pay-for-performance programs is a prime example of such change.
Pay-for-performance programs continue to gain momentum as a popular alternative to traditional healthcare payment models, and healthcare organizations are having to transition to a whole new way of getting reimbursed for the services they offer.
Although the transition to performance-based reimbursements may seem daunting, the advantages are clear. Let’s discuss the key benefits of pay-for-performance programs.
What Are the Benefits of Pay-for-Performance Programs?
While fee-for-service contracts focus on quantity and volume, pay-for-performance programs focus on quality and value. There are many benefits to the latter, such as:
Improved Quality of Care
Pay-for-performance programs offer financial incentives for meeting quality measurement goals. Quality measures are used to assess care quality using many moving parts of the healthcare journey, including:
- Health outcomes
- Clinical processes
- Patient safety
- Care coordination
- Resource utilization
- Patient engagement
- Population health
Now that clinicians are measured based on performance, they are focused on delivering top-quality care and achieving positive individual health outcomes. They are also more likely to invest in preventative care and population health efforts. More often than not, this newfound focus directly results in fewer adverse events, reduced gaps in care, higher patient satisfaction and engagement, and ultimately better outcomes.
Reduced Healthcare Costs
Efforts to reduce healthcare spending, such as pay-for-performance programs, are becoming more prominent in the industry. Fortunately, cost reduction is a significant benefit of pay-for-performance programs.
A greater focus on quality and preventative care can help bring down healthcare costs across the entire continuum. Implementing preventative care is much more cost-effective than managing chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, or hypertension. Healthier populations generate fewer costs and bring down healthcare spending overall.
Just take Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, for example. The regional payer’s value-based care program saved $197 million in 2020 alone.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Healthier patients are happier patients—and they’re more likely to be satisfied with their care. As part of their quality improvement strategies, providers are dedicating more time and resources to personalizing care and cultivating stronger relationships through frequent outreach. Investing in patient engagement and encouraging patients to take a more active role in their care increases satisfaction and aids in improving outcomes.
Enhanced Care Coordination
With reimbursements now directly tied to performance and quality, we are seeing more and more healthcare providers reorganizing into interdisciplinary teams to address the needs of various patient populations. Increasing emphasis on patient-centered care has encouraged healthcare organizations to take a more holistic approach, strengthening communication and care coordination to improve outcomes.
Increased Use of Patient Data
Pay-for-performance programs also lead to increased sharing and analysis of real-time patient data. To measure quality performance, providers use data to assess outcomes. Therefore, healthcare decision-making is inherently more data-driven as a result. Armed with real-time data on individual patients, specific populations, and quality measures, healthcare organizations can make smarter, more informed decisions to address gaps in care that lead to adverse events and poor outcomes, such as medication non-adherence.
Using Data to Meet Pay-for-Performance Program Goals
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be incredibly effective for healthcare organizations looking for ways to meet performance goals. AI engines learn from many large, diverse datasets that provide multiple views of patient behavior.
Using AI technology, the opportunities to transform healthcare are endless. Healthcare organizations can improve quality performance, enhance patient outreach, reduce the cost of care, achieve positive patient outcomes, and more.