Down To Earth, Close to Home, Personal
We hear a lot about how healthcare is getting bigger – consolidation of health systems, large health plans combining, emergence of larger ACOs. For many healthcare professionals, this scenario is daunting. There are heartfelt concerns, and sometimes sad examples, of how patients become lost – literally and figuratively. And, healthcare professionals often question the influence of their own role as the time with patients is limited and increasingly prescriptive. However, within these moves to size and the associated flurry of change, there are encouraging and promising trends. These trends are bringing healthcare down to earth, close to home and increasingly personal for patients. One may look upon these ideas as value trends successful healthcare organizations are following in the quest for the Triple Aim and their own sustainability.
- Closer Ongoing Relationships with Patients. ACOs and health plans increasingly recognize that those in their care, or patients attributed to them, are best served by regular connections with primary care providers. Health plans are increasingly personalizing direct connections with enrollees to promote such connections. Becoming an effective partner in connecting patients in “real” relationships for your provider is a skill and talent highly valued.
- Proactive Versus Reactive Care. The value of preventive and proactive care is well documented. Fostering improved health is high calling. However, 70-80% of patient encounters in many practices result from patients presenting themselves with exacerbations. As payments for preventative encounters, care management and care transitions become more robust, the opportunities for diagnosing risk, preventative services and proactive care management abound. Developing practice flow opportunities for these more proactive encounters holds high promise for patients and for professionals in tomorrow’s healthcare paradigm.
- Viewing the Patient as a Resource. Patients are often the object of one’s work and service in healthcare. One of the secrets successful healthcare organizations recognize – patients and their families are also the greatest untapped resource. Recognizing patients as partners, collaborating with them around their interests and seeing them as capable powers positive health behaviors. Exploring the patient’s own interests for improved health helps convert traditional education into actual patient learning and health behavior change. Rather than doing things “to” and “for” patients, working “with” patients often achieves lasting, dividend paying results.
- Building Value Payment Capacity. Healthcare leaders have often shared the feeling that they must keep “one foot on the dock of payment for volume and one foot in the boat of payment for value.” Current payment patterns may dictate this position. However, the boat is most certainly leaving the dock. Being ready for accelerated value payments is the clear avenue forward. With 69% of costs associated with health behaviors and the march toward outcomes/value as a payment base, two foundational skill sets will be pivotal for healthcare professionals – effectively moving and inspiring patient health behaviors and facilitating evidence based care management strategies. Practicing and capacity building around these aspects of care will set one healthcare organization apart from others which have not done so.
Healthcare professionals – care managers, navigators, dietitians, care coordinators, physicians and others – are frequently committed to developing and building their occupational equity. They seek to add value to the organizations and the patients they serve. Building closer relationships with patients, focusing on preventative and proactive care, viewing the patient as a true resource, and developing value payment capacity – each is a value trend and a skill set powerfully enhanced by competencies which are the fabric of Clinical Health Coach® training. If you are a current enrollee or graduate of the Clinical Health Coach®, we expect that you are well on your way to applying these “down to earth, close to home, personal” skills in support of your organization. If you believe these above value trends represent the interests of your healthcare organization, or your personal future as a professional in healthcare, I encourage you to explore www.clinicalhealthcoach.com and enroll in one of our performance oriented trainings, today!
William K. Appelgate
President and Founder
Clinical Health Coach®