NCP Guidelines: Domain 1 - Structure and Processes of Care
December 8, 2018
Palliative Care is Value-based Care
June 21, 2016
I don't check Twitter daily. In fact, when I'm juggling several projects, I sometimes go a week or more without logging in. Yet when I do, I frequently find something really important that didn't show up in my Google alerts or e-newsletters.
This morning, a day when I really wasn't planning on writing a blog, two such stories caught my attention. On the surface the first article, "Value-based Reimbursement Set to Eclipse FFS," didn't seem all that exciting -- CMS has been moving toward this goal for years. However, the article contains new survey data on the readiness of hospitals and payers to meet this challenge. Both health systems and insurance companies are building narrow or tiered networks to improve their value-based care outcomes. I'd recommend taking a look at the data presented in the survey. The data demonstrate the investment that providers and payers are making in building strong value-based care networks to manage population health, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the costs of care.
It was the second article that really sparked my muse (as my friend Heather Wilson likes to say). "Improving Care for Those Who Need It Most," published by the Commonwealth Fund, presents the results of a review of research studies regarding "common features of several successful care management programs."
The features identified in the article exactly describe comprehensive palliative care:
Target the population
Assess health related needs
Develop care plan
Engage patients and family members
Connect patients to community services
Coordinate care and communicate with providers
Community-based palliative care does all this and more. In the work I do with clients, we identify local partners to help deliver seamless care. The palliative care programs offer psychosocial and spiritual support. Family members are taught caregiving skills as well as self-care. Volunteers offer companionship and respite. Many clients are able to set up 24/7 access to telephonic and sometimes in-home support to circumvent ER visits and hospital admissions that frequently happen when a crisis occurs at night or on the weekend.
And, perhaps most importantly, palliative care always includes goals of care conversations which are revisited over time.
If you're thinking about building a palliative care program, the clock is ticking. Eventually all payers and health systems will develop a service to meet the post-acute care needs of patients. They may not call it palliative care, but it will certainly look like palliative care. The clock is ticking, the train is leaving the station, the horse is out of the barn. Whatever metaphor you want to pick, the reality is this : this is the moment to build, launch, and get paid for community-based palliative care.
You can beat the clock, drive the train, harness the horse...! ;-) kb
the kb group helps organizations in every phase of community-based palliative care planning, implementing, and launching. Call or email so we can discuss how our experts can help your organization.