Business, provider leaders say they’re using BHCG value study
Business executives said they’re using a study commissioned by the Business Health Care Group to steer patients toward high-quality providers, and healthcare leaders called for using the research to improve care, during a panel at the group’s annual meeting.
The second version of the study, released last year, showed steering patients to high-performing doctors and helping other physicians improve their care could save close to $400 million annually. Centivo, a health plan headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y that’s partnering with the group, is using the data to guide patients.
Janet Lucas-Taylor, senior director of employee benefits at Northwestern Mutual, said the study helped them understand how quality across their network varies and the correlation between quality and cost.
“We now have the power to create a health plan system that allows our employees and their families to go to physicians and know that they’re receiving the highest quality care in the most efficient way,” Lucas-Taylor said at the meeting earlier this month.
Lisa Mrozinski, director of total rewards at Baird, said the study is unique, in part because it’s been put into action.
“For Baird, we talk about our culture of health and having people have that relationship with the primary care physician,” she said. “And now we have the confidence that those are quality, primary care physicians and that we are living up to our promise of helping take care of our associates.”
Dr. Paul Pritchard, vice president and chief quality officer at Prevea Health, said the data help them see variation among physicians in terms of cost.
“You have to start analyzing this data and evolve, really,” he said. “If you have five different providers in your office, you’re all having the same outcomes, but your total cost of care is 20 percent different, we have to look at that. We have to be part of the solution, not continue to be part of the problem.”
Pritchard said they’re collaborating with employers through on-site clinics and developing an ambulatory surgical center.
Dr. Greg Brusko, chief clinical officer at Ascension Wisconsin, said the study puts patients first.
“I’m not aware of any clinician … that wakes up in the morning and says, ‘Hmm, I think today I’m going to give inadequate, really expensive care. That’s what’s going to get me going today.’ I don’t think anybody does that, right?” Brusko said. “But what this study did was that it provided us a very open, transparent way, with a large pool of clinicians, to … judge folks against their peers in like specialties in both quality and cost.”
Brusko said they’ve shared that information with Ascension physicians. They’re hoping to gather more data to see what effect the Centivo and the Business Health Care Group’s work will have on patients’ outcomes and experiences.
Wisconsin Health Information Organization CEO Dana Richardson said the study brings all the stakeholders together since they’re using the same data, while allowing each organization to determine how to best use the information.
She said the study could lead to “real change because there’s a single focus, improving value, which we’re defining as quality and cost, but everybody has an opportunity to choose how they do that and what their part is.”
The Wisconsin Hospital Association questioned the initial study done by the Business Health Care Group and has said that its concerns persisted with the update released late last year.
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