What’s Fueling the Shift Toward Value-Based CareWith consumer costs rising, it’s no surprise that patients want more from their healthcare. Demand has shifted in favor of a digital, customer-first healthcare experience, while at the same time, federal programs like Medicare have created new payment models that reimburse organizations based on the quality, not the quantity, of the care they provide. Value-based care models are increasing in prevalence as a result, with a seven-fold increase in the number of value-based care programs across the U.S. in the past five years. These models also tend to reduce the overall cost of care. A recent study comparing patients on a value-based care model with those on a traditional fee-for-service model found that value-based care decreased costs by 12 percent while increasing measurement of the clinical criteria for quality care by 10 percent. But payers and providers alike face a difficult challenge when it comes to value-based care: chronic conditions make up more than 90 percent of the U.S.’ massive $3.3 trillion annual healthcare spending bill, and patients with chronic conditions are readmitted at a higher rate and utilize more healthcare resources. Without a strategy to improve quality of care and reduce costs for these patients, payers and providers face substantial barriers to the successful adoption of value-based care. Our current pandemic has also spurred ideas for potential use cases. The ability to test for underlying symptoms, such as heart rate variability and sleep quality, can be used as indicators of infection, prompting the user to go get tested for COVID-19. Early detection can help patients seek out a doctor before they’re overwhelmed by the disease.
Mobilize Care with Medical WearablesIn an environment in which 6 in 10 American adults live with a chronic illness, healthcare organizations must remove care from emergency rooms, where it’s expensive and palliative, and improve healthcare access in patients’ homes, where it’s more affordable and preventative. New medical wearable devices can easily expand care options beyond the walls of the ER and doctor’s office, removing limits posed by scheduling challenges or provider availability, while also affording patients round-the-clock preventative care. For patient populations dealing with chronic conditions, wearables are a way to change their behavior for the better. With a wide range of applications for medical wearables, interventions can include:
- Incentivizing exercise and weight loss
- Sleep monitoring
- Medication adherence
- Nutritional counseling and tracking
- Heart rate monitoring
- Monitoring blood sugar levels
- The Apple Watch Series 5, which is FDA-approved for fall detection and heart monitoring.
- The Owlet, a smart sock that can track a baby’s heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep.
- The Bellabeat Leaf Urban, a smart fitness and sleep tracker that looks like a necklace or bracelet and requires a charge just once every six months.
Bringing Digital Advances TogetherMedical wearables both maximize and depend on technologies like AI, electronic health records, cloud computing and analytics. To create cohesive, impactful patient experiences that improve patient outcomes, healthcare organizations will have to build a technology environment that thoughtfully unites them. Payers and providers that do so will emerge as market leaders in the new, value-based care world. Learn more about how Concentrix Catalyst is advancing the patient experience in healthcare.
VP, Healthcare Solutions