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Elizabeth Mitchell Discusses Transitioning to New Payment Models

There is a huge range in readiness when it comes to making the move to merit-based incentive payments, but in order to successful make the transition successfully, organizations need the structures in place, the leadership on board, and relationships with the community, explained Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.


There is a huge range in readiness when it comes to making the move to merit-based incentive payments, but in order to successful make the transition successfully, organizations need the structures in place, the leadership on board, and relationships with the community, explained Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How ready are physicians and healthcare organizations for the move to merit-based incentive payments?

I think there is a real range in readiness among physicians to accept and manage risk. It’s a huge change—it requires new data systems, new practice patterns, new team relationships, new community relationships. And there are some providers who have been moving in that direction for quite some time and some who really just haven’t.

I think there is an inevitability of change and that seems to be at least really penetrating the thinking. But a lot of people don’t even know where to start or how to start. So I think there is going to be a lot of activity—really creating the building blocks to actually be ready to manage risk.

And hopefully we will learn from those who went first and really benefit the ones still going in that direction.

How can those who haven’t started yet prepare for the change?

I actually was meeting with the chief medical officer of a major health system just yesterday and he said that he called all of his physicians in to a room, across the whole system, and said, “We’re going to be changing everything. And you’re going to need analytics, new EHRs, new ways of data sharing, new ways of leading, and if you’re not ready, you probably should work somewhere else.”

So it is, I think, coming from the leaders now that this has to happen. I think that is the first step: showing that leadership and saying, “we’re going to do this.”

But, again, you need the structures in place. If you don’t have data, you can’t manage a population. If you don’t have relationships with community providers or public health or the much broader world outside the hospital walls, you’re not going to be successful in population health models.

So you can start now: leadership and then structures and then new relationships are really what have to come first.

 
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