Clearly, health IT becomes more important than ever—a fact CMS makes clear in the final rule: “We are actively planning to synchronize the various reporting programs in order to ensure harmony amongst measures across various settings. We hope to have all measure data submitted via EHRs in the future.”
Invest in technology that provides operational support, Newman says. “We continue to focus on delivery of quality care and HCAHPS and the tools to ensure we are capturing the metrics, subject to the initial review under VBP. The data we gather will be used to make operational change. We are concurrently planning to ensure we meet future performance measures.”
Many hospitals and health systems are using modeling of outcomes and patient satisfaction to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities, Nelson says. “They are modeling the impacts, tracking them using dashboards, and creating action plans to improve over time.” Those who aren’t, should. Now.
The CFO or CEO needs to be actively involved in reviewing these numbers, says Ladely—and not just when they are included in a report to the board. Active management is required. Pay attention to what patients have to say, given that patient experience accounts for 30%of the score. Look at comments, not just the aggregate score. It’s incumbent upon staff and leadership to look at the survey results and review the comments, Ladely says.
Newman and his team are preparing for VBP by continuing to follow the best practices they already have in place—focusing on quality initiatives such as readmissions and patient satisfaction, for example.