For the past 30 years, I’ve been deeply entrenched in healthcare and have had the great fortune of holding positions across the entire care continuum. Suffice it to say, the continuum most patients experience is far from perfect. How do we each use our sphere of influence to begin to improve outcomes throughout the healthcare ecosystem? Care coordination.
In 2016, we find Comprehensive Primary Care Plus, Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and other public and private initiatives calling for strong care coordination. Yet healthcare organizations have not been given the tools they need to develop successful, comprehensive care coordination approaches within a population health context to drive value-based care. Perhaps care coordination is not “one size fits all,” and organizations do not come to the table with the same level of expertise, technology or motivation.
More resources are devoted to healthcare per capita in the U.S. than in any other nation, according to the American Nurses Association; yet, our national healthcare system is often characterized by fragmented care, communication failures and unnecessary or redundant tests and services.1 On average, the cost of individuals with uncoordinated care is 75 percent higher than matched patients whose care was coordinated.1 If designed thoughtfully – by incorporating the five core components you’ll read about below – care coordination can improve the patient experience, improve health outcomes, and reduce wasteful spending – bringing us closer to achieving the goal Don Berwick and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement set for healthcare in this nation: the Triple Aim.2