NEW YORK: EmblemHealth has found that people in the healthcare sector and policymakers commonly refer to “value-based care.”
This model shifts healthcare reimbursements from fee-for-service payments, which focus on volume of services, to payments for patients’ outcome or quality of care. It emphasizes prevention, early intervention and managing care. Following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, this system gained greater traction.
However, the nonprofit health insurer’s recent survey of 1,000 people, found that only one out of four respondents are familiar with the term. Yet once consumers understand what value-based care is, they support the model, according to EmblemHealth.
The survey found 58% of respondents learned about value-based care from their health insurance plans; 40% from a doctor and 27% from the media. Yet 63% of respondents felt that both doctors and health insurers should communicate about this healthcare option.
“The survey showed us a major gap in how value-based care is communicated to the public,” said Kwame Patterson, executive director of public relations at Emblem. “The patient and consumer are either the last to know or entirely left out of the conversation.”
He emphasized that communicators need to get that information to consumers so people can make more informed personal healthcare decisions and provide input to shape policy.
“There is a nationwide shift in how health systems provide care to patients, while controlling costs,” stated Patterson. “This shift from volume to value has the potential to impact everyone’s cost of care, types of treatment, time and ultimately lives.”
He added that this movement presents a meaningful opportunity for communications professionals.
“It is our responsibility to thoroughly and adequately vet, educate and disseminate information to the public on issues and topics affecting their daily lives,” said Patterson. “Policy can be complicated, but we can change course by making a real on-the-ground effort to reach out to patients, consumers and audiences to see what their understanding, wants and needs are related to value-based care.”