Value-based Purchasing – The KSB Way by Chief Nursing Officer Linda Clemen

What is value-added care (besides one of the healthcare industry’s biggest buzzwords) and what does it mean for KSB?

Here’s a little background:. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare), healthcare system in the United States is moving from volume-based (the number of patients hospitals see) to value-based (outcomes based on quality care, health management, processes, and the patient experience). This shift puts the expectation on hospitals and clinics to not only provide these initiatives, but do so at a lower cost.

The transformation from fee-for-service medicine to value-based care, in which quality metrics are tracked, is nothing new for us at KSB. We’ve been planning for this since the government started the Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program in October 2012.

VBP is a mandated pay-for-performance government initiative that rewards or penalizes hospitals for the quality of care provided to Medicare patients. This comes by way of reimbursements based on a hospital’s ability to demonstrate high- quality care in clinical processes, as well as good patient experiences. The hospital’s quality and process measures make up 70 percent of our reimbursement rating, while the remaining 30 percent is for the patient experience. This really puts the pressure on to add value.

So what is KSB Hospital doing to prepare ourselves for the future and provide value-added care? For starters, we have a Patient Experience team that visits units or departments on a quarterly basis to educate employees on scores and improvement tactics. The patient experience makes up 30 percent of VBP, and that’s something each and every KSB employee — clinical and non-clinical positions — plays a role in. We also have teams who look at quality initiatives. If we struggle in any of these areas, we develop a multidisciplinary team to discuss what we can change in our process or system so the error doesn’t happen again.

We’re here to serve this community by providing the best possible care to our patients each and every time. Today, that’s measured not just in terms of quality, but also patient experience.

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