For hospitals, value-based care could actually equal lower readmission rates

In recent years, there’s been much hullabaloo surrounding value-based care. Are value-based initiatives truly effective? Are they helping or harming physicians? How do things change when you add telehealth to the equation?

A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine outlined a few positive gains for value-based care initiatives and their effect on hospitals. The study found hospitals participating in one or more value-based programs have lower readmission rates.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed 2,837 U.S. hospitals between 2008 and 2015. The researchers used publicly available national data from Hospital Compare to look at the hospitals’ 30-day readmission rates for patients with heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

Specifically, they assessed the hospitals’ participation in three voluntary value-based care programs: Meaningful Use, bundled payments and accountable care organizations. “We used an interrupted time series design to test whether hospitals’ time-varying participation in these value-based reforms was associated with greater improvement in Medicare’s [Hospital Readmission Reduction Program],” the researchers wrote.

Because the researchers analyzed the hospitals over a seven-year period, one of their primary findings involves a drastic change in the number of hospitals participating in value-based programs. In 2010, none of the 2,837 hospitals were participating in Meaningful Use, bundled payment or ACO programs. But five years later, 2,781 hospitals were participating in at least one of the programs.

By Erin Dietsche | MedCity News

Photo Credit: Hong Li, Getty Images

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