2015 is upon us, and there is no looking back as 2020 is arriving faster than expected. That’s because until recently, industry experts were unclear how quickly and extensively providers and health plans were adopting value-based approaches. A 2014 study on value-based reimbursement revealed that 90% of payers and 81% of providers are already using some mix of the value-based model in combination with the traditional fee-for-service approach. The study projects that by 2020 value-based approaches will overtake fee-for-service approaches to comprise two-thirds of the market. That progress and pace toward value was confirmed in consecutive HealthLeaders magazine studies on “The Future of Population Health.”

We can now say with certainty that health care delivery is moving in one direction: toward value-based care. While navigating the transition is not simple or easy, the solutions, technology and know-how are available to manage this mix of value-based and fee-for-service reimbursement models. Straddling the old system while stepping boldly into the new world of value will help you achieve the goal of delivering better care to patients and aid in reducing the cost of care for us all.

Here are seven steps all stakeholders can take to facilitate the transition to value-based care:

  1. Take the plunge together. Payers and providers need to align.
  2. Build a critical mass. Multiple partners in a region make it worthwhile.
  3. Reach out to employers. Companies are embracing strategies that hold providers accountable.
  4. Find seed money. Grants can support pilot projects.
  5. Have a five-year plan. A strategic road map will guide the journey.
  6. Educate your people. Internal champions must have key leadership roles.
  7. Adopt new technology.

The technology is available to automate processes, enable connectivity, incorporate analytics and support clinical and financial decisions at the point of care.

For more on how to navigate the shift to value-based care, download the white paper.

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About the author

Dr. David Nace is vice president and medical director at McKesson Health Solutions. He is a nationally recognized leader with expertise in health care technology, health care reform and the patient-centered medical home.

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