For many decades, we’ve been following the fee-for-service care model
in the United States. If you get sick, you can go to the doctor and
get tested and/or treated, then pay for those services. At face value,
this seems logical: you don’t pay until you get sick. Unfortunately,
though, this model doesn’t incentivize preventative care and makes
Value-based care, on the other hand, rewards physicians for providing
quality care and helping patients achieve good outcomes. This model
incentivizes early intervention and prevention over expensive tests
For patients, the shift towards value-based care is very positive.
But most people have no idea what to expect from this new philosophy
and way of operating. With big data making personalization and remote
monitoring more common, we’re likely to see value-based care surge in
popularity over the next few years. Here’s what we can expect to see
in the near future.
Smart Hospitals Will Allow for Improved Patient Care
Nobody likes to spend time in the hospital if they can help it. Aside
from visitors and quick visits from the nursing staff, many patients
are bored, uncomfortable, and lonely during their stay. They may have
unanswered questions or might not know what’s going on with their health.
hospitals can’t make the experience of going to the hospital
completely pain-free or positive, but the advanced technology that
powers them empowers medical professionals to provide patient care. By
automating many routine tasks and tracking people and resources with
sensors, smart hospitals allow doctors and nurses more time to spend
Additionally, smart hospitals of the future won’t offer as many
services as they do today. They will be streamlined and optimized to
help patients with inpatient needs like major surgery or trauma.
Preventative, routine, and outpatient care will take place in other,
less stressful facilities.
Triage Nursing Will Continue to Spread
Sitting in the waiting room of the emergency department is standard
in the fee-for-service model. The most urgent cases are taken first,
but everyone else has to wait. There isn’t really a good way around
this, but at services become more efficient, the role
of triage nurses will grow. Technology will also help by sending
patients to emergency rooms that may have shorter wait times.
Triage nurses monitor patients waiting to be seen, take their medical
histories and vital signs, and ensure that people get in to see a
doctor as soon as possible. They provide patient care and make quick
decisions about who needs to be seen first. Many patients waiting in
emergency departments are scared, stressed, and frustrated, and a
skilled triage nurse can help make their experience better.
One of the biggest hurdles in the transition to value-based care has
been the payment structure. How to properly compensate doctors for
providing patient-focused, personalized, and value-based services?
It’s a dilemma that is slowing down the adoption of this model and
favors a team-based approach over small, independent providers.
types of payment reform are being explored. In the end,
alternative payment models, such as subscription-based concierge
healthcare, may end up being part of the answer to funding a
Increased Optimization Means Increased Value
We’re learning more about different factors that affect our health
all the time. More data collection and analysis using big data tools
have allowed researchers and doctors to gain more insight into why and
how some people are affected by certain health problems. This is
allowing for greater
optimization and patient wellness programs, increasing the value
that healthcare organizations offer patients while lowering overall costs.
Telehealth Will Play a Major Role
In the shift toward value-based care, we can’t overlook the role that
telehealth will play. Telehealth, which involves virtual visits and
remote care, is convenient for doctors and patients alike. Of course,
not all services can be provided remotely, but with a greater focus on
preventative care, patients might be able to take care of many
healthcare questions and concerns without coming into the office for
Telehealth will allow doctors to spend more time with patients while
reducing long wait and travel times. With better access to their
healthcare providers, patients might not put off mentioning any health
concerns until their next appointment and have the opportunity to get
We still have a long way to go in switching over to value-based care.
But with today’s technology and understanding of human health, we’re
on our way toward creating better value in a system that has
historically capitalized on illness, rather than wellness.