Why You Should Value Caring About Value-Based Care

For years, healthcare’s financial incentive framework has been based on a fee-for-service model. This means that providers and hospitals are paid based on the number of healthcare services they provide. A higher volume of tests or procedures results in greater payments to the entities that provide them. The seemingly important element that is left out of this equation is whether the patient, who is being subjected to these tests and procedures, is experiencing improved health.

The Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act and Value-Based Care Models

In 2015, Congress voted to enact the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). This legislation was a key driver for transitioning away from the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement model and move towards a value-based care model. Value-based care centers around patient outcomes. Providers and hospital are paid for successfully managing a patients’ chronic conditions and keeping patients healthy. Value-based care incentivizes providers to focus on patients, coordinate care across hospitals and doctors, and increase efficiency by decreasing unnecessary or duplicative tests.

Tracking Patient Outcomes 

One of the primary obligations for providers in the value-based care model is to track patient outcomes over time. This might include trending the HbA1c levels for a diabetic patient over the full cycle of that patient’s care. This is something that is relatively easy for providers who use electronic medical records to document lab results. They can run reports to show levels over time and prove that care is successfully being managed. Providers can run into challenges when patients are having their tests performed at outside labs. All of a sudden a provider might have sporadic HbA1c data points because only a handful were resulted at a lab that could enter the information directly into their EMR. The others are just scanned images or blobs of text that cannot be used in their trending. This is where Extract comes in. Extract’s data extraction software can pull the important lab result values out of scanned or faxed documents that come from outside labs. Extract automatically puts those discrete values into the EMR alongside the existing data. This allows providers to trend a complete set of results for a patient, regardless of where the patient might have had their labs resulted.

Increased efficiency and increased patient-focus are key

Extract’s platform can help providers in more ways than just providing specific discrete lab results. Extract’s document classification and data extraction functionality can pull any kind of health maintenance data out of a scan or fax and place that information into the EMR to be tracked alongside the rest of a patient’s history. If a colonoscopy or a mammogram is performed at an outside clinic and the documentation is faxed to the patient’s primary care team, Extract can automatically place that data into the EMR for that patient’s providers to review. This increases efficiency and allows the provider to focus on the patient without having to spend time hunting down external information. Increased efficiency and increased patient-focus are core tenets of the value-based care model and Extract’s platform strengthens providers’ abilities to meet these standards.

About the Author: Eric Davidson

Eric Davidson is a Customer Support Specialist & Project Manager at Extract. He is heavily involved in the design and development of Extract’s data entry interface. Prior to Extract, Eric spent 3 and a half years working in Healthcare IT and learning the ins and outs of EMRs at Epic.