- During a panel session at the National Health Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., speakers from KentuckyOne Health, Montefiore Health System, and Bon Secours Baltimore Health System discussed the impact on hospitals in the transition to a value-based healthcare system with new payment models and penalty programs for hospital readmissions.
- The federal government seeks to decrease healthcare spending by rewarding quality of care.
- Engaging entire communities and addresing social determinants of health are some of the strategies the health systems have used in their population health efforts.
The hospital business has focused on occupancy, or filling hospital beds, for decades. The business has been putting greater emphasis on patients’ health and reducing utilization. From policy changes that reward for quality of care, rather than the number of provided services, to competitive pressure among providers, the motivations for this shift can vary.
The federal government hopes to decrease healthcare spending with new payment models but hospitals face various implementation challenges. Some health systems, including KentuckyOne Health, Montefiore Health System, and Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, have been making progress towards population health in their states over the last several years.
On Tuesday, speakers from each of these systems discussed some of the challenges they have encountered and the population health strategies they've used at an NHPC session.
The main goal with the design of KentuckyOne Health, was building a system that can deliver care effectively in a financially sustainable way. “Our approach to care draws on the need to address the distinct health indicators of our population,” said Ruth Brinkley, president and CEO of KentuckyOne Health, which was formed four years ago.
KentuckyOne, the state’s largest health system with 200 sites of care, managed to integrate different religious institutions and their traditions, Brinkley said. The integrated Catholic facilities play a distinct role in making sure underserved communities are not left behind, she said.
Stephen Rosenthal, COO of Montefiore Care Management Company, said they put together a club called the Montefiore Integrated Provider Association, which allowed all providers and community doctors to participate. “One of the things that we spend a great deal of time on is thinking through that overall continuum of care and how does one go about managing care,” Rosenthal said.
He noted they also discovered overtime the social determinants of health are actually a big part of the overall challenge in transitioning to a value-based system.
“If you begin to understand some of those life issues, you can begin to make some changes,” he said.
According to Rosenthal, shared savings programs are “short-lived opportunities because once you have that experience for year, it's very hard to continue to succeed and get any savings out of those experiences.”
In West Baltimore, which has the worst social disparities in the city and in the state, the community made a commitment to improve their health status by addressing the social determinants of health, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System CEO Samuel Ross said.
Bon Secour has been addressing Baltimore residents' health by implementing several programs in work force development, financial literacy, child development, among others, Ross said.