Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes pilot programs for various payment methodologies, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around payment reform overall. Without question, however, the overarching movement is toward better quality, lower cost care, and a payment environment where providers are compensated for outcomes.
What financial leaders need are good examples of how to move hospitals from the current healthcare model of care to the future outcome-based model. Creating a patient-centered environment is an excellent place to start.
Syed Salman Ali, MD, a medical oncologist and hematologist, operates Fauquier Health Hematology/Oncology Center in Warrenton, VA. Since joining the staff of Fauquier Health last year, he has worked with the hospital to create a unique infusion center that emphasizes continuity of care through a patient-centered approach and by optimizing his nursing team's skills.
Greg Bengston, vice president for development at Fauquier Hospital, explains that in 2007 the hospital identified a need for a cancer center.
With the nearest treatment center for the community nearly an hour away, the hospital proposed a joint venture between Fauquier and its competitor Prince William Health System to build a radiation and oncology center. Not long after, the Cancer Center at Lake Manassas opened. With the success of that facility, Fauquier Hospital began to look for other service line opportunities. An oncology infusion center fit the bill, but any facility would have to fit Fauquier's patient-centered culture of care.