A recent article titled, “How does a gastroenterologist demonstrate value?” (linked to full text) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2014.08.021 provides some insight into what is in store for gastroenterologists as the shift from fee-for-service is influenced by value care initiatives.
- Value = Outcome/Cost
- Healthcare value = Health of population/Cost
- “AGA has spent the last 7 years developing measures that focus on outcomes and population management. They are available at http://www.gastro.org/practice/quality-initiatives/performance-measures.”This website provides several measures for hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, endoscopy, and others.
- For example, endoscopy measures:Measure # 1: Appropriate Follow-Up Interval for Normal Colonoscopy in Average Risk PatientsMeasure #2: Surveillance Colonoscopy Interval for Patients with a History of Colonic Polyps- Avoidance of Inappropriate UseMeasure # 3: Comprehensive Colonoscopy Documentation
As a pediatric gastroenterologist, it is clear that more efforts will be needed for the pediatric population. While the authors note that “financial pressures will intensify over time,” at the current time there is extremely wide variation on the use of common procedures; in fact, physicians are typically incentivized to perform procedures even in the setting of low yield. So the first steps will be to define a high value pediatric GI practice.
Another reference with regard to value care (J Pediatr 2014; 165: 650-51) discusses how infectious disease consultations improve outcomes, can decrease costs (length of stay, complications) and improve usage of appropriate antimicrobials. Another helpful point: “Although common, curbside consultations have been shown to be associated with inferior patient outcomes compared with official bedside consultations.” This is often due to incomplete or inaccurate data.
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