U.S. Healthcare costs have been steadily increasing over the past several decades. Currently, the U.S. outspends most developing countries by two to three times annually, and according to PWC’s Health Research Institute, the medical cost trend, which refers to “the projected increase in per capita costs of medical services and prescription medications that affect insurers’ Group and Individual plans,” is expected to reach 7.0% in 2024, up from 6.0% in 2023.
Yet despite rising costs, the U.S. has also been shown to achieve worse healthcare outcomes and possess the highest disease burden in comparison to most developing countries. According to Aetna, “six in ten Americans have at least one chronic condition, and four in ten are managing more than one.” How can payers and providers shift towards a more efficient healthcare system, decreasing costs while generating better health outcomes and better patient care?
Value-Based Care Solutions: Reducing Costs and Improving Health Outcomes
To address the issue of cost and quality of care, value-based solutions aim to align provider incentives with better outcomes. Under the value-based care model, providers are paid based on patient health outcomes and quality of services, and in some cases, they share financial risk with insurers.
Moreover, value-based care emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to care, placing patients at the center of their healthcare journeys. This approach involves a multidisciplinary care team, which can include mental health workers, psychologists, health coaches, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers who collaborate to engage patients and help them achieve better health.
Accelerating the Shift with Health Tech
After decades of operating under a fee-for-service model, payers and providers need to transition to a value-based care model that prioritizes quality of outcomes and care, and health technology is playing a crucial role in enabling this transition. Here are some ways payers and providers can use health tech to optimize the shift to value-based care solutions:
- Use data to increase care coordination – Since a team-centered approach is a core aspect of the value-based care model, it’s essential to provide all stakeholders, including specialists, nutritionists, social workers, patients and family members, with a way to easily share and access the same health data. Using health check technology that enables patients and providers to measure and share real-time health data improves care coordination and allows providers to deliver the right treatment at the right time. In this way, care teams can work together to analyze data, identify gaps in care, and reach out to patients due for primary care visits, preventive care screenings, prescription refills, follow ups and more.
- Enhance patient engagement – No one has more of a stake in health outcomes than patients themselves, so educating patients about their health and helping them stay informed and engaged with their journeys is critical to achieving desired results. As more devices that could once only be found in healthcare facilities are being made accessible to patients in their homes or on their smartphones, payers and providers now have an unprecedented ability to boost patient health literacy and engagement.
By educating patients on the meaning of their vital signs and health data, and enabling patients to measure their health data using smartphone cameras or wearables, providers can help patients identify abnormal numbers early on and ensure that chronic conditions remain under control.
- Expand access to care – Whether due to mental health issues, challenges associated with travel, or inability to take time off work, many patients fail to seek care through traditional means and end up having worse outcomes as health issues worsen over time. By incorporating virtual care technology like telehealth, smartphone-based health and wellness checks or virtual prescription refills, payers and providers can help overcome the obstacles getting in the way of quality care for certain populations.
- Incorporate social determinants of health– Social determinants of health play a significant role in population health outcomes. In fact, “people living in poverty are 250% more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those with greater income stability.” By giving more patients access to tools to measure their own health data on a consistent basis, payers and providers can better understand geographical trends and social determinants of health, enabling them to identify obstacles like food insecurity, environmental factors, or lack of health literacy and to provide more holistic care.
- Enable informed referrals and reduce unnecessary ER visits- “Emergency department overutilization is a known contributor to the high per-capita healthcare cost in the US.” Using health technology like remote smartphone-based vital signs and health data capture or telehealth screenings, providers can use real-time health data couples with historical health data to make more informed referrals and prevent unnecessary visits to the emergency room.
Creating Value-Based Solutions with Binah.ai
Binah.ai enables payers and providers to put patients at the center of their healthcare journey with health and wellness checks from the palm of their hands. In as little as 30 seconds, patients can measure a wide-range of health and wellness indicators like blood pressure and oxygen saturation, or even conduct bloodless blood tests to measure hemoglobin and HbA1c, by simply looking at their smartphone cameras. Binah.ai also enables healthcare providers to continuously monitor these indicators through wearable sensors to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and enhance preventive care services.
To see how Binah.ai’s health and wellness check technology can help you enhance value-based care delivery, schedule a demo now.