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Spring 2020 - Safety

Improving Patient Outcomes with Evolving Medical Models

Patrick M. SchmidtUNDER THE Affordable Care Act, improving patient outcomes has become a central goal set for the U.S. healthcare system. In accordance, medical care is rapidly transitioning from traditional models toward those that prevent illness rather than treat it and that reward providers based on efficiency and effectiveness. The goals are to improve patient wellness and satisfaction and lower costs.

One of the biggest shifts in treatment models is from fee-for-service to value-based care. As explained in “The Changing Face of Primary Care” (p.16), value-based care changes the care delivery focus from volume to value and redefines financial incentives toward reduced costs. Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Primary Cares Initiative, this change gives providers five payment options with varying levels of financial responsibility. But, value-based care is just one way in which primary care models are adapting to improve outcomes. Other models include collaborative care that integrates behavioral health and general medical services; the transition to more convenient care such as urgent care, telemedicine and drugstore retail clinics; and team-based care, especially for treating chronically ill patients, which can also reduce physician burnout.

Another major transformation in treatment models is the pivot from a sick-care to a well-care system. According to CDC, the U.S. ranks No. 1 in the world for medical spending, but only 37th in the world for health outcomes. As pointed out in our article “Evolving from Sick Care to Well Care” (p.20), for this revolution to occur, medical providers must address the whole patient from psychological, social and economic standpoints, payers must begin tying reimbursement to outcomes versus reimbursement, and patients must take responsibility for their health by seeking preventive care services and reducing risk factors.

On the healthcare horizon, a new development that shows great promise is precision medicine, an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments most likely to help patients based on a genetic understanding of their disease. According to our article “Tailor-Made Medicine: An Evolution in Precision Cures” (p.29), studies to date have concentrated on pharmacogenomics and metabolomics, which focus on developing medicines based on individuals’ specific genetic markers, medical history, environmental health and other lifestyle factors. It is hoped big data and artificial intelligence will help to capture information about the causes of diseases and who will be most affected before people become sick. But, there is still much to be done to create the vast networks necessary for collaborative research.

For now, providers can do much to make patient satisfaction a priority. For some practical techniques, see our article “How to Improve Patient Satisfaction” (p.10).

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue of BioSupply Trends Quarterly, and find it both relevant and helpful to your practice.

Helping Healthcare Care,

Patrick M. Schmidt

Publisher

Patrick M. Schmidt
Patrick M. Schmidt is the publisher of BioSupply Trends Quarterly magazine.