The Cleveland Clinic Defines value-based care as, “simply the idea of improving quality and outcomes for patients. Reaching this goal is based on a set of changes in the ways a patient receives care. We’re looking to make healthcare proactive instead of reactive, preventing problems before they start”.[1]

With the change in reimbursement being tied to value-based care, providers have been challenged to change the way they do things. This change has pressed providers to think more holistically about the value of care, as financial incentives shift “further away from volume by linking provider payments to both quality and total cost of care results”.[2] To date, this has meant a multitude of CMS authorized programs and activities, new legislation, and a new focus on metrics for success – such as “influenza immunization rates, Medicare spending per beneficiary, and performance on patient experience surveys”.[2] Still, quality of care is only one aspect of the new value-based paradigm; cost of care is also becoming increasingly important, not to mention difficult to address.

Shifting existing practices to accommodate this new paradigm has meant taking a deep look at current processes and understanding where there is waste and where there is opportunity for change. Collaboration and cross-functional teams will be integral to a successful shift to value-based care, especially when thinking about the supply chain.

We will need to find ways to address the reality that “human supply chain links — such as physicians, providers, manufacturers, and distributors — are failing to communicate cohesively and productively,”[3] leading to issues in effective forecasting of inventory needs, visibility and allocation of existing inventory, managing expiration dates, and unnecessary product stockpiling. We believe the evolution of value based care can result in a holistic view of the value chain where we more fully understand the costs incurred and value created along the way.

Whatever shape this ultimately takes, it is necessary to involve all stakeholders from the beginning, starting with the manufacturer, if we are to reduce costs while at the same time realizing optimal value for the patient.

[1] “Value-Based Care & Lower Costs.” 2018. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed March 29. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15938-value-based-care.

[2] Belliveau, Jacqueline. 2016. “Understanding the Value-Based Reimbursement Model Landscape.” RevCycleIntelligence. RevCycle Intelligence. November 13. https://revcycleintelligence.com/features/understanding-the-value-based-reimbursement-model-landscape.

[3] DiChiara, Jacqueline. 2016. “Why Healthcare Needs Value-Based Supply Chain Management.” RevCycleIntelligence. RevCycle Intelligence. October 17. https://revcycleintelligence.com/features/why-healthcare-needs-value-based-supply-chain-management.