By ANDREW MINTZ
President of InnovaCare Health shares thoughts on navigating change
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. That’s always been true, but it has been especially true over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated challenges and shortcomings in just about every facet of the industry – from supply chain to healthcare inequities and access and affordability.
Historically, providers have carried the burden of an ever-changing landscape. Even before the pandemic our doctors were being asked to do more with less – adapting to challenges brought on by changing reimbursement models, the emergence of new technologies and treatments and more. The pressure to innovate and keep pace with where healthcare is going is only increasing.
Patient expectations are changing, too. Experience, access, technology, convenience and affordability are top-of-mind when choosing a healthcare provider, and with more choices than ever before, it’s not enough to simply provide good healthcare. These are complex challenges for any healthcare provider to solve, especially an independent physician practice already tasked with effectively running a business while working to maintain the experience and quality today’s healthcare consumers expect from their physician’s office. All providers want the best for their patients – that’s why they began practicing – but many are simply becoming overburdened.
An increasing number of physicians are looking outside for solutions that meet their long-term needs as businessowners, as well as the needs of the patients they serve. Joining a network of physician practices united by a single purpose can empower physicians to keep pace with the industry, navigate the business of running a successful practice in the current environment, while also positioning them to make a bigger difference in the lives of the people they serve.
It’s important to consider the potential patient and provider benefits of aligning with a larger, more established network of physician practices, including:
- A true partner with a proven infrastructure for practice administration and operations. A proven, but flexible model to practice management is key. Providers know their patients and their practice better than anyone else. A true partner will look to build on what’s working today while bringing resources, technology, capital and more to the table to capture new opportunities – like establishing a call center – and take the administrative burden off of the provider so that they can focus on building the patient-provider relationship.
- Expanded access to technology to support better outcomes. There is no shortage of new technology in the healthcare space that has the potential to improve both the patient experience and contribute to better outcomes. For example, telemonitoring systems can keep PCPs connected to high-risk patients, maintaining open lines of communication and empowering providers with the information they need to intervene quickly and course correct before their patients’ health declines. There is also a critical patient education component that comes along with new technology, especially among the senior population. Working with an experienced partner, providers and their patients can access new technology and tools that have the potential to lead to better outcomes and the best practices needed to encourage adoption.
- An experienced partner in the shift to value-based care. Value-based models are better for the people who are delivering care and the people receiving care, but the transition from fee-for-service to value-based payment models can be an overwhelming feat to tackle alone. A strong partner can help successfully manage that transition by focusing on key areas like coding, HEDIS scores, medical management initiatives and more.
- A shared commitment to the patient and provider experience – and best practices for meaningful improvement. Engaged, supported providers deliver a better patient experience. Focusing on key aspects of the provider experience can lead to higher retention, lower turnover rates and a stronger patient-provider relationship. At the same time, providers can take advantage of proven initiatives to create a better patient experience, including access to patient survey tools, training curriculum, evidence-based solutions to strengthen CAHPS scores and more.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to meeting the increasing demands put on healthcare providers today, and it’s difficult to predict where the pressure points in healthcare will be in the next 10 or even five years. However, we know the pace at which the industry is changing will only continue to accelerate. Change can be difficult, but with a strong partner, facing the headwinds in healthcare doesn’t have to be unimaginable.
Andrew Mintz serves as president of InnovaCare Health’s growing Florida market. Local members of the InnovaCare Partners physician network include Orlando Family Physicians and Trinity Medical Group.