Panelists discussed how patient-centered care can be valuated in the changing healthcare climate.
When asked how payment models can be developed that ensure care delivery is patient-centered, Michael Kolodziej, MD, said he is not worried about the reimbursement, rather he is "worried more about the operations. I'm worried a little bit about culture change within the practice."
He explained, "As we go towards a value-based reimbursement methodology, it's absolutely crystal clear to me that if we can execute on behavioral health, for example, or execute on advanced care planning and end-of-life care, palliative care, it's going to actually generate savings for the healthcare system at large. It's going to improve patient satisfaction. It'll improve patient outcome and there'll be a wonderful win."
Kolodziej believes its more important to develop better care strategies for patients. "I think ultimately doctors will find it's a great way to change how care is delivered," he added.
Rebekkah Schear, MIA, agreed, highlighting the importance of patient and family education, particularly for important process like palliative care. "Palliation in and of itself, I think, is misunderstood and highly stigmatized, especially in cancer care," she said. "But we know that when patients and families have a thorough and more robust understanding of how pain management and palliation can actually improve quality of life, regardless of whether someone might be living with disease for a good chunk of the remainder of their cancer journey or whether they have advanced-stage cancer and they're treating pain and working to improve quality of life all throughout," Schear added.
The discussion then moved on to the importance that of a care navigator to the process. Kolodziej said, however, that there is not standard definition of a navigator. "I actually like thinking about a navigator, or more precisely navigator function, in the context of team-based care," he added.