NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A combination of financial incentives and data-driven tools and capabilities may help stimulate the adoption of value-based care among physicians, according to the "Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2016 Survey of U.S. Physicians." Physicians are affected by industry changes, and can have great influence on the cost and quality of care, making them a crucial stakeholder group in the transition to value-based care. While the Deloitte survey confirms the slow pace of adoption of value-based payment models among physicians, it also suggests many physicians conceptually endorse some of the main principles behind value-based care, such as quality and resource utilization measurement.
The transition from volume-based to value-based payment and care delivery models has been one of the most important industrywide initiatives to help improve the performance of the U.S. health care system, yet the pace of adoption among physicians has been slow. The Deloitte survey, a nationally representative sample of 600 U.S. primary care and specialty physicians, found there is currently little focus on value in physician compensation and physicians are generally reluctant to bear financial risk for care delivery – both are factors in the slow pace of adoption.
"Physicians should change their behavior to make implementation of value-based care models effective," said Mitch Morris, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and leader for the health care industry at Deloitte. "But today there is little incentive for them to change; many are still being paid under fee-for-service models and they're not equipped with tools that could help them deliver high-value care."
Tools and capabilities to support value-based care are still in short supply for many physicians and vary in maturity. The survey found that while 3 in 4 physicians have clinical protocols, only 36 percent have access to comprehensive protocols (i.e., for many conditions). Also, only 20 percent of physicians receive data on care costs.
While these findings shed some light on why physicians have been slow to adopt value-based care models, they also suggest that other industry stakeholders – and physician organizations themselves – can effectively work with individual physicians toward value-based care. These organizations should consider partnering with physicians and seek to:
- Tie physician compensation to performance: At least 20 percent of a physician's compensation should be tied to performance goals. Current financial incentive levels for many physicians are not adequate and should be increased to give physicians strong motivation to improve quality and cost.
- Equip physicians with the right tools to help them meet performance goals: Physicians desire better clinical protocols, quality measures that align with their specialties and emphasize outcomes rather than processes of care, and detailed data on their own performance and on physicians to whom they refer patients. Survey findings suggest that many physicians currently lack these tools, but when made available, they impact performance.
- Invest in technology capabilities to connect and integrate the tools: Information should be timely, reliable and actionable. Survey findings suggest that many physicians distrust the data they receive or find it difficult to integrate that data into their daily practices. Health systems and payers should address these concerns. When delivered in real time, accompanied by reliable benchmarks and goals, and incorporated in workflow, the information is more likely to be used.
"Legislation like MACRA, which aims to accelerate the adoption of value-based payment models, will stimulate health care organizations to encourage physicians' adoption of value based care," said Ken Abrams, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and life science and health care national physician executive at Deloitte. "The survey findings show some clear opportunities for engaging physicians in value-based care, which is becoming more important to health systems."
About the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions
The source for health care insights: The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions (DCHS) is the research division of Deloitte LLP's life sciences and health care practice. The goal of DCHS is to inform stakeholders across the health care system about emerging trends, challenges and opportunities. Using primary research, rigorous analysis and providing unique perspectives, DCHS seeks to be a trusted source for relevant, timely and reliable insights.
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