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January 9, 2024

Navigating the Transition to Value-Based Care: Challenges and Opportunities for Revenue Cycle Management

Febien Caltin is a dynamic professional with 20+ years of extensive experience in the healthcare RCM space. He has expertise in Consulting, and Strategic Planning on solving critical issues healthcare providers face in the RCM process. Febien is committed to the growth of healthcare providers through his immense experience.

ABA Providers Recover Dues From Patients To Efficient Your Account Receivables

Change is the only constant shift, reshaping how the world evolves every day and providing better for our fellow beings. In the dynamic realm of revenue cycle management for healthcare, where every day brings new insights and challenges from different patient care methods, the latest providers focus on providing value-based care to their patients for better patient outcomes.

This blog provides a detailed overview of navigating value-based care and the challenges and opportunities for RCM that presents itself with this new care model to build a healthcare ecosystem defined by quality care, patient-centricity, and operational efficiencies.

In this blog, you’ll find:

Understanding the transition from Fee-for-Service to Value-based Care

In the current scenario, fee-for-service meant treating patients to their ailment and collecting a specific fee based on the service provided. But this model meant that regardless of the outcome of the services, healthcare costs rose, which drove up prices and wages. High rates of physician burnout are often cited as contributing factors for reduced access to patient care, compromised patient safety and quality of care.

"Growth in value-based care has accelerated from creating approximately $500 billion in enterprise value today and may be on track to reach $1 trillion as the landscape matures."

A more flexible approach to holistic care, with value-based care also increases patient satisfaction and allows more time to manage complications. Value-based care pays healthcare providers to affect not only the volume of their services but also the quality of their care and the positive health outcomes of their patients. Care is not a one-day shift but rather a long process of aligning all your patient-centered policies with desired outcomes for those patients. This strategy indicates that regardless of how many treatments are performed, each treated disease will be compensated, based on the outcome of the patient. This patient care paradigm lowers costs, improves the patient experience, and improves the well-being of both the patients and the Providers.

Value-based Care Approach

Value-based care models champion a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, fostering seamless communication and data sharing among healthcare professionals. This unified approach facilitates coordinated care management, enabling more accurate and effective outcome measurement. Value-based care is increasing the quality of care to your patients and reducing their costs for the service, the exact balance of quality over quantity.

According to the 2022 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) value-based care survey reports, 49% of responding practices said they are participating in some form of value-based payment, while 18% are developing capabilities to adopt this payment model.

49% of responding practices said they are participating in some form of value-based payment

Key principles of value-based care:

  1. Patient outcomes, such as greater quality of life, lower risk of problems, and extended longevity, are prioritized in VBC models.
  2. Pay for performance: Instead of merely the number of services provided, providers are rewarded based on their performance, against established quality indicators.
  3. VBC models promote collaboration among healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive coordinated and complete care.
  4. Decision-making based on data and analytics: VBC uses data and analytics to monitor and track patient outcomes, identify areas for improvement, and inform care decisions.

Payment models for value-based care include pay-for-performance (PFP), accountable care organizations (ACOs), bundled payments, and capitation. The transformation to value-based care (VBC) demands a seamless interface with existing revenue cycle management (RCM) processes to optimize payments, reduce claim denials, and streamline medical billing revenue cycle procedures. A comprehensive approach that includes precise coding, thorough documentation, and timely claim filing is required to achieve this alignment. Furthermore, encouraging patient financial engagement through open communication and education, is critical to a smooth transition to VBC.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the nation's largest healthcare payer, has implemented value-based payment models since the 2000s, changing how healthcare providers are reimbursed. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Advanced Payment Models (A.P.M.s) reimbursement systems have begun to be used by providers. These models establish a shared responsibility for bearing prospective financial risks and rewards based on patient health outcomes. These providers benefit financially, if they can make cost savings and quality improvements for the patients.

Importance of Revenue-Cycle management in Value-based care

RCM plays a major role in the transition towards value-based care. While the value-based care model focuses on improving health outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction, a proper RCM process ensures that the providers receive their reimbursements on time and accurately for the value they deliver. The demand for healthcare RCM services is surging in response to the growing complexity of revenue cycle management healthcare regulations and the expanding adoption of value-based care models.

"RCM optimization has led to a 15% to 20% improvement in collections rates."

Revenue cycle management in medical billing ultimately helps you streamline billing processes, maintain accurate documentation, reduce denials, and ensure your providers get the reimbursement they deserve. However, a transition to value-based care opens the door to many challenges due to the drastic shift from a specific payment of fee-based service to quality care reimbursements in the value-based model.

Challenges of RCM transition from Fee-for-service to Value-based Care

The transition from fee-for-service to Value-based care for  RCM billing services is a huge jump as value-based care is calculated on various quality metrics sourced from patient engagement, workflow analysis, redesign of structure, and many more factors. Here are a few challenges that practices face during the transition to value-based care:

  • Data Integration- Value-based care heavily depends on data analytics and information exchange between different health entities, as the quality measurement is done via data metrics. Data integration with effortless coordination amongst systems can be a difficult option, when there is no advanced software for integration.
  • Quality Reporting & Measurement of Performance- Since Value-based care is measured on a quality rather than a quantity basis, Healthcare providers need various performance indicators and trackers, which can be time-consuming, but made easier with revenue cycle management consulting.
  • Patient Engagement tools- A huge part of value-based care is proper patient care and engaging them with the necessary communication needs for a satisfactory service. The transition can be difficult without patient engagement tools to gauge a patient's experience.
  • Financial Risk & Cash Flow- Adapting to value-based care hinders some of your initial financial operations due to the change in payment models and risk adjustment.
  • Effective V.B.C. Risk-Adjustment Management- RCM requires accurate risk-assessment models and coding procedures to capture the complete picture of patient requirements and associated costs. This necessitates continuous training and improvement of staff and systems for revenue cycle process in healthcare.
  • Cybersecurity concerns- Healthcare Organizations must invest in Strong Data Security to Protect Patient Privacy and Prevent Security Breaches for secure revenue cycle management in healthcare.
  • Staff Training Requisites- VBC brings new concepts and requirements that require continuous education and training for your staff. Your medical billing and coding teams  must be updated on quality metrics, reporting, and reimbursement models.

Opportunities for RCM In Value-based Care

Value-based care allows healthcare organizations to create a strategy-led administrative function rather than the usual administrative procedure. This approach offers many opportunities for RCM processes to be strong and integrated into all the workflows.

Opportunities for RCM in Value-based Care
  • Increased Revenue Potential- The primary objective of Value-based care is recovery, which ultimately leads to cost savings. Value-based care in Healthcare revenue management (RCM) ensures that providers are compensated appropriately for their services. By streamlining the revenue cycle, providers can reduce denied claims and increase overall revenue. With RCM's accurate coding and diagnosis codes, providers can gain maximum reimbursements across risk-adjusted payment models.
  • Improved Data Analytics- With RCM advanced data analytics, no data can be inaccurate, leading to claim denials and payment delays. With the right software for your RCM, you can attain real-time KPIs within VBC contracts and monitor your revenue cycle, allowing providers to monitor performance, identify opportunities, and make informed decisions based on data.
  • Risk-adjusted Predictive Modeling- RCM can estimate future healthcare demands and expenses using advanced analytics, enabling preventive interventions and a personalized care plan. With risk-adjusted classification, physicians can effectively deploy their resources based on high-risk patient patients, who require additional intervention strategies.
  • Strong Patient Engagement- With Value-based care RCM, patients can understand their financial obligations better and navigate those complexities better. This approach also ensures personal care coordination, where patients can book their appointments online, get in touch with providers with text reminders, and receive payment clarity online, thus increasing patient satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Outcome-focused reimbursement models- Value-based care puts the patient in the driver's seat, prioritizing results over volume. RCM systems are flexible enough to adapt to outcome-based reimbursement models, ensuring timely and accurate claims processing based on quality and effectiveness.
  • Adaptability to Regulations- The healthcare landscape is ever-changing, with rules and reimbursement structures changing frequently. In the value-based care context, RCM systems that can swiftly adapt to changing regulatory requirements ensure that healthcare organizations stay compliant and financially viable.

Transitioning to Value-based Care RCM in Healthcare

Transitioning from a fee-for-service payment model to a value-based care model can greatly affect the healthcare industry's revenue cycle management (RCM). Here are some key objectives for the same:

Transitioning to Value-based Care
  1. Understanding the Value-based Care Model
    Providers must know the fundamental principles and objectives of value-based care to implement the model. This model's objectives must include improving patient outcomes, preventative care, maximizing reimbursements, and aligning financial goals with quality care.
  2. Assess Your Current R.C.M. Processes
    To shift to Value-based care, providers must first identify areas that need adjustments to align with the value-based care, RCM requirements. This also involves analyzing the current workflows, reviewing coding and billing practices, and denial management with performance metrics and KPIs.  
  3. Care Coordination and Communication
    With text reminders, online appointments, bookings, and immediate online availability, healthcare providers can coordinate care and allocate resources with effective communication.
  4. Quality Metrics and Reporting
    Metrics set the stage for quality outputs and reports that bring results. With the right KPIs in a value-based care approach, providers can identify their quality metrics and develop approval workflows to track and report on these metrics accurately. With a Value-based care approach, providers can ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines and contracts. Identify relevant quality metrics and reporting requirements associated with value-based care initiatives.
  5. Provider Education and Training
    Providers should invest in training programs and education to equip the staff with core coding and billing knowledge and skills necessary to bring good results in a value-based care approach. This helps in quality improvement and care coordination.

Transitioning to value-based care is a complex process that includes detailed planning and financial evaluation. By aligning your current RCM process with a Value-based care approach, healthcare organizations can focus on what they do best- improve patient outcomes with enhanced financial performance.

Plutus Health's RCM Solutions for Your Organization

You don't need to transition and start your RCM process from scratch with Plutus Health. Rely on Plutus Health's AI-driven solutions to streamline your workflows and maximize reimbursements with the latest approach. We have developed deep healthcare RCM expertise and leverage AI, ML, & RPA to automate processes and reduce errors to <1%. You'll optimize your RCM to ensure a fast, effective workflow so you can focus on high-quality patient care. With all patient statements, reminders, and collections centralized on one convenient platform, AnodynePay sets up your organization to slash administrative costs while providing the patient engagement tools that patients demand and expect. AnodynePay also uses the most secure patient portal technology to ensure patients enjoy security alongside convenience and transparency.

Partner with Plutus Health , the best Medical Billing Company in Dallas and focus on what you do best: high-quality patient care.

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Febien Caltin

Febien Caltin is a dynamic professional with 20+ years of extensive experience in the healthcare RCM space. He has expertise in Consulting, and Strategic Planning on solving critical issues healthcare providers face in the RCM process. Febien is committed to the growth of healthcare providers through his immense experience.

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