Perspectives on Optimizing Value-Based Care

July 19, 2012
9:18 am

There is a great deal of promise in the concept of accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes and other value-based mechanisms for delivering healthcare.  Ensuring, though, that they can consistently meet the goal of improving patient outcomes while curbing costs is a subject generating much discussion.

This week, an important perspective on this issue was published in the American Journal of Managed Care.  Experts from the Premier healthcare alliance (a Healthcare Leadership Council member), the National Pharmaceutical Council and the American Medical Group Association published a paper analyzing the role of pharmaceuticals in value-based care delivery.

Their key point is that medications, as opposed to being seen as a cost driver to be minimized in a capitated payment system, need to be integrated into the full continuum of care management and can, in fact, save money by achieving better overall patient health.

The paper cites the example of congestive heart failure patients for whom medications cost about $440 yearly.  Adherence to those drug protocols, though, can save thousands of dollars in avoided hospitalizations.

As Marv Feldman, RPH, MS, of Premier, one of the paper’s authors, put it, “Value-based care programs need to leverage every available strategy to address the greatest challenges facing our healthcare system – the unsustainable escalation of costs and the fragmented nature of care.  Medications are important assets in helping providers achieve these objectives.”

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