Lucy Zielinski
Lucy Zielinski

Value-based care (VCB) requires a keen focus on the Triple Aim: achieving better quality and patient outcomes while bending the cost curve. This is not done in silos; VBC is a team sport that requires collaboration across providers in all settings of care, from the doctor’s office in the ambulatory setting to the hospital to the post-acute setting, including effective transitions from one setting to the next. Coordinating care across the continuum and across all settings is key.

A metaphor I like to use is that of a sandbox. If you go back to your sandcastle-building days, I think you would agree that it took a team to build an amazing sandcastle. Similar to care delivery, it takes a team to take care of one patient, especially a patient with chronic conditions. This team needs to play nice in the sandbox, communicate effectively, plan and prioritize activities, and shift when something fails. Turning back to VBC, people need to work together to provide patients with the right access to the right specialty care in the right setting or location at the right time.

Getting your team to a place where they can play well in the sandbox together takes time and often involves making major changes within your healthcare organization. Not to mention that there are hidden hurdles to overcome while making the transition to VBC: Studies show that more than half of change initiatives fail because people resist change. This resistance causes organizations to not only lose dollars due to decreased productivity and employee turnover, but the reputation of the organization is at stake due to low morale. And, think about it: Employees typically see change as undesirable because they did not choose it, and it’s disruptive to their daily routines.

How do you overcome these challenges and make a smooth transition to VBC? Listen to my podcast interview with Beth Houck, vice president of customer experience at SA Ignite, about how to prepare physician leaders for their new roles and make transitions easier for staff in this podcast episode of “Voices in Value-Based Care.”

Lucy Zielinski is managing partner for Lumina Health Partners.

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