Bundled payments are becoming all the more popular and with good reason. Also known as the episodic payment model or package payments, bundled payments are great for patients, health insurance companies, and healthcare providers alike. Such all-around wins are hard to find, but bundled payments are a perfect example of such.
Various companies have been examining ways to make bundled payments even more efficient. Deloitte recommends that healthcare organizations engage with data analytics, information technology, and other solutions to deliver efficiency. For example, with such data analytics, it may be possible to build and utilize care teams. Coordinated with technology and using bundled payments, teams will be able to provide better care at a lower price.
How to Develop Data Analytics and Use Health IT Solutions
Data analytics is a powerful tool, but it has to be used properly if you want to maximize results. For example, you need to track patients at each and every step through the entire episode of care. This can be difficult to set up, but once the entire episode of care is being tracked, managing patients becomes easier. Further, data can be used to uncover opportunities for lowering costs and increasing the quality of care.
On the organization side, data analytics can be used to track every process. By leveraging IT and data analytics, organizations can identify further opportunities for streamlining various processes. Trends can be observed in resource use, for example. In the long run, data analytics can help organizations understand resource variation and help plan to minimize waste.
Report More Bundled Payment-Related Savings From Post-Discharge Care
One area health organizations can reduce costs through and thus deliver cost savings with their bundled treatment offerings, is through reducing the need for skilled nursing facilities. By tracking patients and providing the appropriate services when needed, such facilities can be used less often. Mind you, the quality of care being delivered will still be very high. However, with episodic treatment, the need for skilled nursing facilities is lessened. Only patients who truly need to be placed in such facilities will be placed in them.
Even those patients who do end up in skilled nursing facilities will often end up having to stay for shorter periods of time. Further, identifying the proper facilities that are willing to work with healthcare providers and patients can be easier with the proper management systems in place. All of these efforts combined lower the total costs of the bundled payment without cutting into an organization’s bottom line or reducing quality of care for patients. That’s because resources are put to better use.
Over the long-haul, streaming care through episodic treatment will allow a healthcare provider to treat more patients in a given time. This can increase revenues and the bottom line even as individual patients are paying less via their bundled payments.
Engaging Care Teams And Patients To Motivate Care Delivery Transformations
One of the key advantages with bundled payments for patients and health organizations alike is the ability to set up “Care Teams.” Teams of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers can be assembled right from the get-go to provide care throughout the entire episode of treatment. There’s no more need to add doctors and experts on an ad hoc basis. Such an approach often creates waste and inefficiency. Slowdowns caused by unavailable expertise can be dramatically reduced by assembling a care team at the start.
This is especially true of data analytics. It needs to be properly implemented, and patients are closely tracked at every step. The entire care team can then be closely monitored and coordinated. When needed, a health organization can step back to look at the big picture, and to see what resources are at risk of being overtapped, and which resources are being underutilized.
Patient engagement is vital for bundle payments and episodic treatment. Just about every top notch health organization already recognizes this. With episodic treatment and care teams, the patient can be brought on as an important team member. They can be taught to understand their episodic treatment program and the underlying conditions necessitating it. They can then proactively safeguard their own health.
As data analytics and team care are implemented, healthcare professionals can keep close track of their patients and their own efforts. When necessary, a healthcare expert can provide insights and advice. The entire episode of care may sound like a burden owing to the extra input and coordination. However, in practice burdens are reduced due to careful monitoring and the combined efforts of the entire care team.
Bundled Payments Are Just the Beginning
As data analytics and care teams come into play, health organizations can move beyond bundled payment models. More advanced payment models that are even more closely tied to outcomes can be implemented. By tying bundled payments to outcomes, healthcare providers can focus on quality. This will benefit patients as they enjoy those better outcomes all while paying less through their bundled payments.