Posts Taged value-based-care

How You Can Benefit from Automation

how you can benefit from automation in healthcareTransitioning to a value-based cost model from a fee-based payment model can be challenging. Your organization can make the transition easier by using automation tools. Automation tools will determine the exact costs of all resources and services, which will help you assign accurate prices for your new payment model. Value-based care and automation is a cost-effective solution for both patients and providers.

Automation will make balancing the cost of care and what payers are willing to pay easier by reducing mistakes and providing an accurate analysis of prices. Here are a few ways your organization can benefit from automation:

  • Using an automated system to determine costs will reduce the likelihood of human error in calculations. They also operate more efficiently and can collect and analyze data 24/7. A constantly updated stream of reliable data will help providers predict outcomes and future expenses.
  • One of the many benefits to adopting a value-based care model is that you save on resources. With automation, you will reduce paper use while also determining problem areas in your current cost model where resources are being misused.
  • Automated patient data can also reduce death rates and decrease complications among patients. A Texas hospital reported lower death rates associated with an increase in automated records and notes.

Value-based care models are more cost-effective because they shift the focus to a patient’s long-term health. This allows providers and doctors to treat minor health issues with treatment plans before they become costly health problems. Automated data and cost analysis will help you make your value-based care model operate smoothly and efficiently.  

At Catholic Benefits Trust, we put the focus on the health of your employees. Our members have access to a variety of benefits. When you partner with us, you’ll earn a leadership role on our Board of Directors as well as a personal health coach to guide you and your employees along every step of the way. We also understand the importance of automation and patient data. Our data warehouse will encourage your employees to participate in wellness programs and it will allow you to make accurate predictions about healthcare costs. Contact us to learn more!

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How to Decrease Costly Hospital Stays

reducing number of expensive hospital visits with ACOsWhen there’s a medical emergency that requires a hospital stay, expenses can add up quickly. Increasingly, patients are responsible for paying their own medical bills instead of insurers. Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor studied how much insurers spent on hospital stays. Between 2009 and 2013, out-of-pocket expenses increased by 37% per hospital stay, which is a growth rate of 6.5% per year. How can you avoid expensive hospital stays?

With value-based healthcare models, you can minimize costly hospital stays. With accountable care organizations (ACOs) and value-based care, the focus is on you and your health. Many current cost models reward doctors and providers for high-traffic visits. This means that patient health takes a back seat because, if patients are healthy, then they don’t need as many doctor or hospital visits. Here are a few ways value-based care models decrease hospital stays and doctor visits to save you money:

  • With value-based models, doctors are rewarded for practicing preventative medicine and decreasing the number of doctor visits. Preventative treatments take priority over short-term fixes so patients receive higher quality, long term care.
  • These healthcare models also use predictive analytics to improve their preventative treatment methods and diagnoses. Predictive analytics allows medical professionals to examine patterns in a larger pool of patient data. This helps them predict how your health might progress so they can design a treatment plan customized to your specific needs.
  • Part of customized care and treatment plans at the Catholic Benefits Trust includes a personal health coach. Your health coach acts as your advocate and can walk you through every step of the treatment process.  

All of these strategies combine to help reduce the likelihood of medical emergencies that require a hospital stay. Instead of just lowering the costs of hospital stays, value-based care models encourage doctors, specialists, and providers to collaborate on the best way to treat patients so they don’t require a hospital stay at all. This cost-effective healthcare strategy saves you money and focuses on improving your health before small problems become medical disasters. You and your insurance provider will save money in the long-run by using less resources.

You can learn more about how the Catholic Benefit Trust works to make sure our partners save money and have improved healthcare services by contacting us!

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How ACOs Can Increase Savings

healthcare savings through accountable care organizationsHealth care providers and patients can benefit from joining an accountable care organization (ACO) in several ways. Aside from offering higher quality healthcare focused on preventative medicine, ACOs will also provide the opportunity for payers and providers to experience significant savings. Here are three ways ACOs cut costs:

1. Compliance with State and Federal Laws

When it comes to decisions about who’s employing doctors and how much control payers and providers have, ACOs must comply with state and federal laws. Many of these organizational decisions are directly related to health care regulations. These regulations exist to protect private patient data. Following the design outlined by state and federal laws makes managing who has control over patient information simple and secure. ACOs can follow these guidelines to prevent potential data breaches, which can be costly and time-consuming.

2. Remain Committed

In order for organizations to see real savings, ACOs must remain committed and invest enough time into the endeavor. ACOs aren’t likely to see an immediate reward for providing quality over quantity healthcare to patients. If they remain focused and dedicated to the pursuit, however, they should see significant savings. It also takes time to implement all of the necessary changes. Switching from a fee-for-service payment model to value-based care doesn’t happen overnight. While it takes time, ACOs are cost-effective solutions worthy of consideration.

3. Invest in Risk-Based Payment Arrangements

ACOs that sit on the sidelines and continue to follow a fee-for-service model are missing out on great opportunities to save. ACOs that partner with payers and providers through risk-based payment contracts are more likely to succeed and save significantly more than those remaining on the sidelines.

At the Catholic Benefits Trust, we do everything possible to save our members money while also ensuring quality care. Each of our members has a seat on the Board of Directors so everyone has equal say when it comes to managing the vision and goals of CBT. We provide secure protection and access to patient information as well as legal protection of funds intended for employee benefits. Our members also receive personal health management plans tailored to specific patients based on their data and information. When it comes to healthcare, there’s no organization more cost-effective than us! Contact us to learn more!

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Why Private Insurers Adopt Value-Based Care Models

why private insurers adopt value based care models similar to catholic benefits trustAccountable care organizations (ACOs) are becoming increasingly popular in the private sector as well as among government contracted organizations. Despite the many challenges of transitioning to a new model, private insurers are interested in the alternative payment methods and benefits ACOs provide. In fact, of the estimated 750 public and private ACOs in the US, about half of the contracts are with private insurers.

So, why is the private sector adapting to this coordinated care model? Switching from a fee-for-service model to value-based care isn’t an easy transition. Not all health systems allow for such a huge structural change. Those that do decide to take the risk, however, find ACOs effective for several reasons.

  • The value-based healthcare model allows providers to address rising healthcare costs without sacrificing quality. A value-based model places the emphasis on the patient by focusing on preventative medicine and treatment plans. Instead of the fee-for-service model where frequent patient visits means better compensation for doctors, the ACO model rewards physicians whose patients have less visits.
  • Today, real-time data allows everything to be analyzed thoroughly from how every penny is spent to details of patient symptoms. With accurate, reliable data to support the effectiveness of value-based models, it makes committing to the transition seem like less of a risk to private insurers.
  • Value-based care and ACOs also increase cost savings. A fee-for-service model with frequent patient visits not only consumes a doctor’s valuable time, but it also wastes resources. By reducing patient visits and increasing a focus on preventative healthcare, organizations can save money and resources.

At Catholic Benefits Trust, we understand the benefits and advantages to using a value-based model. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the Catholic Church, we provide improved group health plans with Catholic values in mind. Members of CBT receive full ownership of their medical data as well as a personal health management plan based on a thorough analysis of that data. We also have a team of personal health nurses to assist our members with any health-related questions or concerns.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of value-based care organizations or the Catholic Benefits Trust, feel free to contact us!

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MACRA and Value-Based Care Move on to OMB

MACRA and value based care move on to omb health care legislation news

At the moment, our healthcare system is far from perfect, and it can be difficult to keep track of all the changes in healthcare legislation. When it comes to healthcare organizations though, we carefully follow relevant health care reform such as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA has just moved on to the next step in the legislative process. It’s now awaiting a final ruling at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). So, why does MACRA matter to accountable care organizations like Catholic Benefits Trust?

Why MACRA Matters

MACRA was created to replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate after the Senate repealed it last year. The new legislation is more conducive to value-based care models and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Health care providers focused on value-based care and payment models will find two relevant programs under the new act:

1. Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)


MIPS consolidates the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value Modifier, and the EHR Incentive programs. Starting in 2017, health care providers will receive an evaluation and a MIPS score based on four categories: quality of care, use of resources, improvement of clinical practice, and use of EHR technology. EHR technology enables the gathering and sharing of patient data so professionals can collaborate. MIPS focuses on these four categories because it encourages physicians to work with each other to develop inexpensive, preventative treatments that allow patients to avoid costly procedures and hospital stays.

2. Alternate Payment Methods (APMs)


Some models, such as ACOs, patient-centered medical homes, and bundled payment models qualify as alternate payment methods (APMs). This payment method offers health care providers 0.5% lump-sum incentive payments for their Medicare payments from 2019 to 2024. Providers will still receive evaluations similar to the four categories described under MIPS.

MACRA supports value-based healthcare models and preventative treatments. Incentives will encourage care providers to improve their services in all four areas listed under MIPS and provide quality, value-based care for their patients.

You can learn more about how the Catholic Benefits Trust combines value-based health care and preventative medicine with Catholic values when you contact us!

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How Mobile Technology Is Transforming Health Care

mobile tech and preventative health care and dataYou’ve probably noticed people wearing bracelets or clip-on devices to track their steps and monitor vitals. Or maybe you’ve seen people logging their health information such as heart rate, calorie intake or weight on an app to help track their progress. It’s likely you’ve used one of these mobile devices to monitor your own health as well. These mobile devices can be used for more than just personal goals and well-being. Mobile devices are revolutionizing the way patient data is gathered and giving us new insight into preventive medicine. Here are a few key benefits to using mobile devices in health care:

1. Flexibility and Convenience

64% of adults in the US own smartphones. Wearable technology is expected to grow from 21 million units in 2014 to 150 million units in 2019. Mobile devices are popular because they’re easy to use, no matter where you go, and are just as capable as computers. You can store all of your health data in the palm of your hand without having to fill out a special form at the doctor’s office.

2. Valuable Source of Data

With so many people staying connected and tracking their data, it makes collecting information on patients easier and more accurate. Data collection has already proven to be an effective strategy for tracking infectious diseases and it can also be used to help physicians make more accurate diagnoses. By consulting relevant patient data, a doctor could diagnose and treat you based on data from patients with similar demographics and symptoms.

3. Clinical Trials

Sharing patient data with researchers is another way mobile technology has improved health care. Research companies are able to analyze the data to determine the best test subjects when conducting clinical trials. A recent breakthrough in the treatment of lung cancer resulted from a data-sharing arrangement with pharmaceutical companies.

Mobile technology allows us to accumulate large amounts of accurate data, which can then be used to benefit the public. For example, it may seem like you’re healthy, but your primary care physician might notice you’re following a pattern similar to another group of patients who experienced problems. Your doctor would be able to recommend treatment or other steps you can take to avoid having bigger health problems in the future.

At Catholic Benefits Trust, we recognize the potential mobile technology and patient data has when it comes to improving health care. We offer valuable benchmark data to our members so they can compare their progress with other CBT members. As a member, you can access this data warehouse whenever you want and use it to improve your health programs.

Contact us to learn more about the benefits our members receive.


Image by Peter Parkes

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4 Value-Based Care Models Worth Trying

value-based health care models you should try

Preventable hospitalizations are costing the US a fortune. In 2006, hospital stays that could have been prevented with proper long-term care made up $1 out of every $10 spent on hospital-based care. In Minnesota alone, preventable health care costs totaled $2 billion in one year. How can we avoid spending money on preventable hospital stays and visits? Here are 4 value-based care models we can try to start saving money and living healthier:

1. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Accountable Care Organizations have proven highly effective when it comes to reducing health care costs. Because the current system focuses on profits over preventive care, health care providers stand to make more money from unhealthy patients who require more visits, prescriptions, procedures, etc. Under an ACO there’s a network of health care providers and hospitals collaborating to reduce costs by focusing on the patient’s’ long-term health instead of short-term solutions.

2. Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs)

Patient-centered medical homes are similar to ACOs in that there is a network of professionals working together. However, with PCMHs health costs are reduced through the exchange of data as well as collaboration. Instead of having a one-on-one relationship with a primary care physician, patients will have a team of health professionals focused on them. In Colorado, the Multi-Payer PCMH Pilot reduced emergency visits by 15% and saw a $4.5 return on every $1 spent.

3. Pay Incentives

Some value-based health strategies offer pay incentives for physicians who reduce patient visits. This requires health care providers to focus on long-term health goals that will reduce their patient’s chances of needing costly procedures, emergency visits, or hospital stays.

4. Bundled Payments

Another cost-effective health care method is bundled payments or when a single payment is required for services related to a specific health care episode, even if it may require assistance from different providers. Bundled payments encourage patients to follow through with recommended care options because they know there is only one fee they have to pay for the whole process.

The Catholic Benefits Trust focuses on providing cost-efficient and value-based health care to organizations sharing Catholic values. All members of CBT are granted a seat on our Board of Directors so everyone has an equal say when it comes to managing costs. You can learn more about how CBT embodies Catholic values and reduces health care costs for our members by contacting us today!

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