Recommend Emphasis on Healthcare Delivery System Changes to Improve Care, Lower Overall Costs
As the “repeal or replace” debate over the structure of America’s healthcare system continues, the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) urges decisionmakers to focus on healthcare delivery initiatives that are improving patient care, reducing medical errors and lowering the overall cost of healthcare.
“In the debate over healthcare reform, we must not ignore the importance of improving how healthcare services are organized and delivered,” noted Robert Pearl, M.D., Chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, a coalition of high-performing multi-specialty medical groups and health systems, as well as CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of the MidAtlantic Permanente Medical Group.
“If we do not continue to emphasize the need for care initiatives that promote physician-led, value-based, patient-centered, technologically-enabled care, we will lose ground in quality, innovation and outcomes that lower the cost of healthcare, while making it more available and convenient to patients. The consequences of inaction for our patients, their communities and the nation are significant.”
The foundation of healthcare delivery improvement rests on changes in payment incentives to providers, who instead of being paid fees for every service (the “fee-for-service” payment model), are now increasingly paid based on outcomes and performance. Innovations like electronic medical records and digital communications between healthcare teams, video visits with doctors, access to data to determine if patients are at risk, and improvements in preventive services are being adopted more rapidly to achieve better patient care and outcomes.
Pearl notes, “The CAPP medical groups are pioneers in linking physicians and patients with technology and digital communication, in delivering coordinated, connected care, and in forging patient/physician relationships that are both high touch and high tech. Physician leadership is behind all these improvements, ensuring that the welfare of the patient is first and foremost. When these enhancements are in place, patients get higher quality, faster care, medical errors are reduced, and better clinical decisions are made because information is available in real-time to all members of the team. “
CAPP physician leaders recommend:
- Accelerated movement toward value-based payment for healthcare.
- More widespread and coordinated use of health information technology so that care teams can access information related to patients’ health and treatment anywhere and anytime.
- Simplification and standardization of quality measurement and reporting so that patients can identify healthcare providers with the best clinical outcomes.
These high performers can then help others to match their success and raise the national level of performance.