What is Care Coordination (For Value-Based Healthcare)?
Health systems are transitioning to a value-based care model. Or, they are attempting to offer more value to their patients by focusing on the quality of service, instead of quantity.
This movement incorporates many different logistical elements.
One specific example is care coordination. Or, the effort to synchronize all of a patient’s health services to ensure efficiency and effective treatment.
Without proper care coordination, preventive or primary assistance suffers. There can be too many resources duplicating efforts. And too little direction for what needs to happen next.
At ThoroughCare, we’ve worked with more than 550 organizations across the United States as they adopt value-based care solutions. We’ve watched and taken part in this ongoing transition.
We feel we’re a part of it, just as you are.
In this article, we’ll provide a clearer picture of what care coordination is.
We’ll review what it entails when applied to health services.
We’ll explain its relationship to value-based care, and how technology, such as care management software, can help small and large practices incorporate this approach.
With this information, you’ll have a better understanding of care coordination as a concept, as well as how it can be used to strengthen your service offerings.
You’ll be on your way to learning more about value-based healthcare solutions.
What is Care Coordination?
Care coordination is organizing a patient’s various interactions as they go between multiple doctors or specialists.
The process is executed through specific software solutions, such as care management software.
This process can include sharing specific medical information, such as lab tests, medications, updates to treatment plans, or care provider notations.
The idea is to house all of this detail in one location, where it is accessible or shareable with all parties involved. This keeps everyone on the same page.
It is a clean, efficient way to coordinate all of an individual’s ongoing healthcare needs.
Previously, technology was limited in its ability to share information between service providers.
This process has now been simplified.
What is Care Coordination’s Role in Value-Based Healthcare?
As implied throughout this article, care coordination is a natural extension of the value-based healthcare mindset. Coordination aims to improve efficiency and increase the value of services.
If we step back and consider, further, what value-based care is, or what Medicare’s hopes for it are, it is to cut cost while improving patient outcomes.
This is accomplished by tying insurance reimbursements and their rates to performance metrics.
These can include reduced readmission rates, decreased lengths of stays at hospitals, and lessened ICU mortalities, among other measurements.
This document accounts for a person’s chronic or behavioral health conditions while offering a roadmap for treatment or guidance as they live with them.
It is a small tool, in the grand scheme of medical resources.
But, it’s a very helpful organizing platform to spearhead preventive health measures — which go a long way toward improving well-being.
And unlike CCM, basic care coordination does not require any threshold of billable time.
It is perfect for the patient whose insurance may not cover specific wellness programs, yet would benefit from a care plan.
Value-based care encourages optimizing every patient interaction to reduce expense. Care coordination ensures the patient is knowledgeable, as well as armed with a course of action.
This can prevent repeat appointments, lab tests, and even hospital admissions.
Care Management Software for Care Coordination
To implement care coordination at your practice, care management software comes into play.
In short, this software can be used in a myriad of ways. It’s often used to manage various Medicare wellness programs, such as CCM or Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM).
EHRs do not currently provide the flexibility or specific software modules required for preventive care coordination.
That said, care management software can share reports with EHRs. So, your EHR will not be totally isolated from the overall process.
With this software solution, care management and coordination are simplified for clinical staff. Intuitive workflows and clinical content eliminate hesitation due to inexperience.
As well, software streamlines care plan creation and maintenance, saving time and ensuring accuracy.
All while your practice is providing general care coordination services.
Just as the value-based care model promotes efficiency, care management software enables a sleek, in-house means to administer multiple preventive measures through a single resource.
Learn About Value-Based Care Programs
Value-based healthcare incorporates many approaches, resources, and interventions.
A few of those are the wellness programs referenced throughout this article.
Want to know more?
ThoroughCare’s Learning Center is home to many related pieces of content that provide expert thought leadership on these topics.
For instance, did you know that there are three types of Annual Wellness Visits (AWV)?
Dig through our archives and find out.