May 21, 2014

Value-Based Purchasing: Will we get there?

Anyone who is either personally or professionally involved in the healthcare field has been hearing all about the value-based purchasing trend for quite some time now.  This essentially means that the healthcare model needs to transition from a  per visit/per procedure/per patient format to one of overall population management, focusing on clinical outcomes and diagnosis.

It is no longer "one-size fits all" for patients as healthcare focuses on becoming more individually patient-based, providing more personalized care. It would be like walking into Macys and having your own personal shopper to assist you. The value intends to bring improved clinical outcomes for the patient, which leads to fewer follow ups and/or readmissions - a win-win for both provider and consumer.

The estimation is that by 2020 almost 80 percent of hospitals domestically will be aligned with the new model, as reimbursement levels will be based on patient outcomes and overall satisfaction. The impact will not only affect the patient and the providers as a whole, but more specifically life within Supply Chain management.

The old-school method of getting the lowest price per product is no longer the goal. Supply Chain services are now tasked with the job of finding the lowest total cost to help contribute to the long-term savings for the hospital. The goal is to find the most cost-effective way to provide products that will consistently both positively impact patient outcomes, as well as, enhance the overall patient experience.

With these initiatives in place for Supply Chain, analytics have become a part of the process in determining where improvements can be made. Whether it's looking at HCHAP scores or outcome-based statistics, whatever tools are used to determine the effect on reimbursement levels is what will determine which vendors Supply Chain services will choose to do business with.

As a nation, it seems that the real question is, will the world of healthcare be able to makeover its current per patient/procedure/visit mentality to one of a longer-term outcomes and diagnosis view? Maybe we will have a better grasp on that when 2020 arrives.


Sarah Gomes
Account Manager
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