With CMS and Washington State detailing specific targets for transitioning to value-based payment (VBP), and private payers clearly expressing their intent to accelerate the transition, rural providers must create the infrastructure and culture to manage the transition or run the very real risk of being left behind and compromising access and outcomes for the communities they exist to serve.
Washington Rural Health Collaborative developed a shared, collaborative-wide performance improvement function to improve the capacity of collaborative hospitals to collect, analyze and improve clinical and financial metrics, to reduce costs while improving quality, and prepare member hospitals for the movement from volume to value-based. The initiative included assessment of readiness, quality and financial benchmarking, identification of VBP opportunities that would allow collaborative members to test the waters without risk and individual roadmaps for each facility to achieve this. By leveraging the strength of the collaborative, we were able to identify and put into place initial analytic resources, along with the QI leadership to support members in implementing their roadmap and a process for identifying value-based contracting opportunities that would allow them to learn without risk.
At the end of 2016, 92% of the Washington Rural Health Collaborative member hospitals were participating in value-based contracting.