As a mother of three young children, I know about the concept of Value—especially when it comes to grocery shopping. I am like a magnet drawn to signs like value pack, value meal, value price, etc. Our definition of value as consumers is to get the most for our money while assuming the quality remains the same.
Why not use the same definition when it comes to shopping for hospital services? Our payers, including health plans and government agencies, are moving into the world of consumerism, and healthcare payment. We are now seeing payers stress Value as much as consumers do through changing payment structures.
This is a new way of thinking for hospitals. Our responsibility is no longer isolated to the days our patients are in the hospital. We now commit to helping patients after leaving so they may avoid being hospitalized again.
At Lutheran, we have been part of a national project around “bundled” payment for joint replacement surgeries. In this program, we follow patients from three days before their surgeries and for up to 90 days after. We support them through education, follow-up phone calls, visits and collaboration with community partners. We have dedicated services to this effort and we know that it works better for our patients.
So is there value in focusing on Value? The answer is YES! It absolutely makes sense for us as a hospital to focus on the bundled value for our patients—it’s the right thing to do for them and for us.
Noomi Hirsh, Director of Quality