Value analysis for the continuum of care

Used to be the healthcare supply executive had one concern – the inpatient facility and those who worked and care for people in it. And the fact is, hospitals still account for most supply chain spending.

But as the federal government and private payers try to coax providers into assuming responsibility for patients’ care across the so-called continuum – from the physician’s office, to the home, to the long-term-care facility, to the hospital – contracting executives are being forced to look at a bigger picture.

Tending to the entire continuum offers contracting executives new opportunities to engage physicians and suppliers in meaningful ways, says LeAnn Born, vice president, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis.

Fairview’s Care Model Innovation initiative stresses innovative care delivered in its clinics and other settings. The supply chain team is an integral part of it. “Our ‘Triple Aim’ focuses on cost, quality and experience,” says Born, referring to total cost of care, clinical outcomes and patient experience. “In my conversations with physicians and suppliers, instead of just talking about the price of a product, we’re looking at what delivers better outcomes and how we can work together to reduce the total cost of care,” says Born. And that doesn’t change, regardless of where the product or technology under discussion is to be used.

But contracting executives face a challenge: Only those suppliers whose products are used in the hospital, clinic and possibly the home can help reduce the total cost of care, that is, care across the entire continuum. When she talks with other suppliers, “it still feels a bit theoretical conversation, but it is stimulating new and different conversations,” says Born.

Nevertheless, Fairview is definitely moving in that direction. “I’m excited to be working here, because we’re positioning ourselves for the future, where we won’t work in silos,” says Born. “We’re partnering with our physicians, and we have [agreements] in place with commercial payers that recognize how we have partnered with our physicians. We’re making the investments today that are necessary for our success in the future.”

 To read about the new face of value analysis in the latest issue of JHC, click HERE

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