For decades, pay-at-the-time was the standard of health in the United States. Previous directed patients toward the most expensive drug or procedure with the simple understanding that it would provide the best result. It seemed clear – the quality of health care was as good as the fees paid.
However, the digital and technological transformation of today has opened a new perspective for providers in what defines clinical value. In this paradigm, the true long-term value is derived from the intersection of information on the data at the individual and the population level.
Unfortunately, the average mentality of patients is still firmly anchored in the pay-at-the-time model. If a value-based transformation is to take shape, it is essential that providers engage actively with patients to help them better understand the true cost of care.
This type of commitment will mark a revolutionary change in the patient-provider dynamic where individuals are forced to associate with their health care team. Through this process, they gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to interact with their suppliers throughout their health journey.
In a recent study of 1945-19006 health professionals, 93% said they were undertaking patient experience initiatives in 2017, but only 26% chose access / patient satisfaction as one of their top three initiatives. l & # 39; year. This is disturbing because studies have shown that more committed patients are likely to have higher biometrics such as body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol compared to less committed patients. From a cost perspective, patients less engaged in their care also have readmission rates up to 1.75 times higher 30 days after discharge than more committed patients.
So, how do we encourage the widespread commitment of a value-based philosophy in patients?
We need a change of dialogue.
More substantially, we need a change in the dialogue between data, technology and patients. We need to take steps to allow providers to have a better overview of the patient and their environment to help uncover ideas and stimulate a more active level of conversation with the patient.
Here are three ways that providers can engage in a value-based dialogue that instills a sustainable wellness mentality on the patient, placing them at the center of the health ecosystem.
1. Reframing health as an asset for life
Health spending in the United States has now reached 17.8% of US GDP, a rate that far exceeds any other industrialized country. Yet Americans have lower average life expectancy, higher incidence of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and higher infant mortality rates than other industrialized countries.
For too many patients in the United States today, health care is not considered a long-term investment. In seeking to save on costs in the short term, patients may unconsciously sacrifice greater health and, as a result, incur higher future costs. On the other hand, many patients may associate a higher price with better quality, without even considering a cost-benefit analysis specific to their situation.
Providers must provide patients with the necessary tools to emphasize that well-being is worthy of both lifetime investment and ongoing evaluation. By reframing responsibility for their health in this way, patients may ask, "Did I understand the importance of the decision I make, both for my wallet and for my health?"
2. Making the most of the data
The advent of Big Data and increasingly sophisticated analysis has the potential to have a profound impact on chronic diseases and patient outcomes. With many providers at the time of accessing shared data in their care networks, and in some cases, wearable patients, we could see the unprecedented movement in the use of data generated by the consumers in interactions with patients.
New technologies are driving progress in the analysis needed to consolidate this wealth of data in meaningful perspectives for patients. As data from various sources can be collected, combined and analyzed in new ways, providers will be able to demonstrate to patients the value of a particular innovation in relation to its costs.
The US EY 2017 survey of health professionals revealed that only 26% of respondents ranked new technologies among their top three priorities for 2017. In terms of patient experience, only 8% reported benefiting from patient-centric analyzes. These numbers indicate an opportunity for organizations that want to invest in the type of analysis that provides patients with valuable information.
3. Put the data into action
As valuable as the data are, simply providing them may not be enough. Studies using fitness trackers or mobile apps to provide information to people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or to help with weight loss have not been universally positive. The data must produce timely and actionable information that helps consumers make healthier and more informed choices.
To create this environment, solutions will need to integrate data from a variety of sources: consumer-generated, environmental and medical data will all be needed to provide the kind of context that can help patients understand their decisions and guide them in the moment. For example, it has been shown that the use of text messaging to communicate with patients improves drug compliance rates in patients with chronic diseases by 17.8%.
Environments designed to "counteract" the patient's behavior may be more effective when they are just at or slightly below the patient's level of awareness, while influencing the desired change.
As the shift from pay-to-pay to value-based care continues to grow, it is critical that providers understand that this change in organizational philosophy will require a shift in the philosophy of the patient. And with the patients at the center of the equation, it is there that you start the conversation.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the worldwide organization EY or its member societies.