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Specialists are driving value-based care; Analytics and population health tech can help them

Written by Bill Siwicki, Managing Editor, Healthcare IT News

Originally Posted in Healthcare Finance News August 30th, 2017

 

 

Specialist physicians have a unique place in the care continuum. Although they traditionally have provided care with great focus, they are increasingly responsible for much more of the care delivered to individuals and as the industry shifts to a value-based care model they will have an even more important role to play.  That's because specialists oversee the care of the sickest and most costly patients: those confronting chronic illness.

 

"It is often the specialist who sees the patient most frequently and takes the lead in coordinating overall care in the manner of a primary care physician," said Charles Saunders, MD, CEO of Integra Connect, a specialty care health IT vendor. "Therefore, any effort to tackle quality and cost improvements on a systemic level must engage specialists intensely."
 

Specialists are driving value-based care; Analytics and population health tech can help them With many specialists becoming de facto primary care physicians, experts say they should emulate payers' pop health management techniques.

“It is often the specialist who sees the patient most frequently and takes the lead in coordinating overall care,” said Charles Saunders, MD, and CEO of Integra Connect.“It is often the specialist who sees the patient most frequently and takes the lead in coordinating overall care,” said Charles Saunders, MD, and CEO of Integra Connect.


Specialist physicians have a unique place in the care continuum. Although they traditionally have provided care with great focus, they are increasingly responsible for much more of the care delivered to individuals and as the industry shifts to a value-based care model they will have an even more important role to play.

 

That's because specialists oversee the care of the sickest and most costly patients: those confronting chronic illness.

 

"It is often the specialist who sees the patient most frequently and takes the lead in coordinating overall care in the manner of a primary care physician," said Charles Saunders, MD, CEO of Integra Connect, a specialty care health IT vendor. "Therefore, any effort to tackle quality and cost improvements on a systemic level must engage specialists intensely."

 

Another key development impacting specialists is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services requiring them to participate in the same combination of Merit-based Incentive Payment System and alternative payment model programs as other providers, which is pushing specialists to transform their practices, Saunders said.

"In fact, some specialty alternative payment models have gained considerable traction, such as the Oncology Care Model that has engaged nearly 3,000 providers at 190 practices nationwide in efforts to improve both the quality and cost of episodes of cancer care," he added.

 

Read the whole article here.