Value-Based Care: The Role of Equipment and Product Standardization

Healthcare in America has been undergoing major changes as hospitals seek to adapt to the realities of Hospital Value-Based Purchasing by CMS and adhere to the Triple Aim initiative of IHI. Both of these programs were incorporated into the Affordable Care Act and have been a point of concern for hospital administrators for the past few years.

The focus of the Triple Aim is to improve the patient experience, improve overall population health, and reduce the per capita cost of healthcare. Along with the Medicare Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program which changes the way hospitals are reimbursed from quantity of services provided to quality of care provided, these are changes that are fundamentally affecting medical care in the U.S.

Alignment of The Triple Aim and Value-Based Care

According to this Harvard Business Review article, the concept of value-based healthcare was introduced in 2006 by Michael Porter and Elizabeth Teisberg in the book "Redefining Healthcare." The Triple Aim concept was launched in 2007 by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) with the goal of improving healthcare, enhancing patient experience and lowering medical costs.

Both concepts shared the concern that the existing practice of procedure-based reimbursement was becoming increasingly expensive while failing to improve the overall health of the population. As a consequence, regulators began to look for ways to turn the American healthcare system around, the outcome of which is the current drive towards value-based care.

Value-Based Care Initiatives

As this RevCycleIntelligence article indicates, hospitals and physicians that rely on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are adapting their systems away from fee-for-service models to value-based alternatives.

At the same time, they are looking closely at lean initiatives that increase overall efficiency and reduce costs. A key aspect of lean production, as developed by the automotive industry, is the benefits achieved through process standardization where a task is always performed in the exact same way. This concept has the potential to reduce medical costs and to improve efficiency, especially when applied to equipment and product standardization.

Role of Equipment and Product Standardization in Supporting Value-Based Care

How does equipment selection and product standardization support the Triple Aim?

Selecting the proper equipment item and standardizing on products throughout the facility may:

  1. Decrease the cost per item with larger volume purchases
  2. Provide better partnerships with manufacturers
  3. Increase employee efficiency by reducing the need for staff to learn how to operate different equipment when going to different areas
  4. Provide a more consistent patient experience
  5. Reduce acquisition costs by reducing the number of purchase orders required

The experienced equipment specialists of Concordance Healthcare Solutions can help select the right equipment for your specific needs. To take advantage of our expertise click here.

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