What is Value-Based Healthcare? A Complete Guide

Value-based healthcare, or VBH, is a method of improving patients’ health by focusing on improving health outcomes. Its implementation starts with understanding a segment of patients with consistent needs and then developing comprehensive solutions for them. The value-based care models are intended to reduce medical errors, improve quality, and reduce costs while improving patient satisfaction.

Reduces Medical Errors

Value-based healthcare is a model that emphasizes the need for collaboration between patients, physicians, and health systems. In addition to reducing medical errors, it also improves the quality of care for patients. The primary aim of value-based healthcare is to improve patient care and engagement. As a result, health systems and providers benefit from improved patient outcomes and lower costs. However, a significant downside to value-based care is increased patient load, making it more challenging for physicians to manage their cases. Also, health systems must be skilled in data management to achieve their value-based healthcare objectives. Otherwise, they may face steep penalties.

As healthcare spending accounts for 18 percent of GDP, the U.S. healthcare system lags behind other wealthier nations. However, the country’s healthcare system is renowned for producing some of the best and worst medical outcomes. Value-based care aims to improve healthcare outcomes and lower costs by rewarding doctors and hospitals based on patient outcomes. It also helps healthcare providers work together and reduces provider burnout.

Improves Quality

Value-based healthcare has many benefits, but the risks are also considerable. Compared with traditional fee-for-service healthcare, value-based care emphasizes preventative care and reduces waste while improving quality and financial returns. However, there are a few key things that healthcare providers must be aware of before implementing a value-based healthcare model.

One major drawback of value-based care is the burden placed on physicians. They must focus on a disproportionate patient load, which may be frustrating for patients who seek a physician’s care. Patients also may become frustrated when non-physicians act as gatekeepers. Moreover, the worst value-based care groups don’t recognize the differences among types of clinicians and don’t articulate clear views of care coordination across disciplines.

Reduces Costs

Value-based healthcare models focus on health prevention and wellness. This care aims to help patients recover faster from illness and avoid expensive procedures and medications. For example, patients with diabetes can learn to manage their blood sugar levels and establish an exercise program to help them stay fit. These approaches can also help patients deal with the emotional aspects of their disease. Value-based care also reduces costs by paying doctors and hospitals based on the outcomes of their services rather than the number of visits. It also bundles payments for more complex cases.

While research on value-based healthcare is still in its early stages, it is a promising model for improving health outcomes while reducing healthcare costs. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care is one of the biggest financial challenges facing the U.S. health system. As the healthcare industry learns about the benefits of value-based care, healthcare organizations will feel more comfortable using these new tools and methods.

Increases Patient Satisfaction

Value-based healthcare focuses on quality of care over quantity, allowing patients to recover faster and lessen their need for costly prescription drugs and medical appointments. It also helps patients avoid chronic illnesses, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Value-based healthcare reduces the time spent on costly, time-consuming chronic disease management and increases patient satisfaction.

One of the most effective ways to implement value-based care is to enhance the doctor-patient relationship. As famous Canadian physician, Sir William Osler said, “Good physicians cure diseases; great physicians cure patients.” Therefore, a strong doctor-patient relationship is critical to achieving successful health outcomes.

Shifts Focus Away From Treating Symptoms

Value-based healthcare is an emerging concept that focuses on treating the whole person, not just the symptoms. The concept is growing in popularity, with more companies interested in reducing healthcare costs and mitigating the negative effects of chronic illness. However, according to a Deloitte study, nearly half of commercial healthcare spending goes to treating the symptoms of just 5% of the insured population. It shows a need for a more balanced approach to healthcare that improves long-term health and spreads healthcare costs evenly among patients.

In addition to decreasing costs, value-based healthcare also helps reduce medical errors. Large employers and insurers are increasingly concerned with medical errors, and more are embracing value-based care to limit these costs. This approach also helps promote healthier behaviors.