Many healthcare industry leaders agree value-based care is a concept whose time has come, and those who hedge their bets may find themselves behind in building the robust ambulatory care platform they’ll need to deliver it cost-effectively. That’s the premise of a new white paper from Regent Surgical Health, drawing on the experience and strategic thinking of several industry pioneers.

Regent, a leader in developing and managing hospital-ASC joint ventures, authored the white paper, titled “Double Your Ambulatory Platform by 2020” based on the assertion that expanding an ambulatory care platform can help health systems move aggressively toward value-based care and improve financial strength.

The Regent white paper features the experiences of leading health systems to help providers double ambulatory care platforms over the next four years.

  • At Providence St. Joseph Health, Thomas R. Lorish, M.D., has successfully engaged physicians and providers while developing and operationalizing new care models. “Each community is different, so we divide the marketplace based on whether traditional volume or value-based care is more appropriate,” says Dr. Lorish. “It’s unknown exactly when and what pace the transition to value-based care is going to occur, so you need a strategy that allows you to execute in both types of markets. I think ambulatory assets like surgery centers allow you to engage your key physicians, in a volume-based world. And, they prepare the hospital as well as the physicians for a more value-based world by having a better cost structure.”
  • Mark Santamaria, former president of MidMichigan Medical Center – Gratiot, was instrumental in assembling a web of complementary ambulatory assets at Mt. Pleasant Surgery Center in central Michigan. “Our market was very fragmented, with resources spread out across seven different locations,” Santamaria says. “So, we decided to build a facility that could house primary care and all our specialists, both employed and private practice, along with the full range of resources that create an environment where patients really like to go. Now, strong relationships have developed among all the providers in the building, and they’re naturally referring to each other within the building,” he said.
  • Finally, Palos Community Hospital is a suburban Chicago community health system with different needs than some of its larger counterparts around the country, but it also is reaping the benefits of a robust and interconnected ambulatory care platform. Tim Brosnan, vice president of Planning & Community Relations at Palos Health, says “We cannot provide everything to everybody, so we need strategic alliances with physicians and other providers to assure patients in our community can access the right care, in the right place at the right time.”

According to Regent CEO Chris Bishop, expanding an ambulatory care platform dramatically can help health systems improve financial strength by growing market share and geographic footprint; increasing patient capacity, freeing up operating room (OR) space for more complicated surgeries; and providing distinct and optimal environments for quality patient care, both in the OR and outpatient areas. It can also help boost the systems’ reputations as innovators and leaders in their markets.

“Shifting care to the outpatient setting is where ambulatory care options can really drive value,” Bishop says. “That’s why we’re seeing strong willingness among health systems to pursue actions that will double their ambulatory care platforms in the short term.”

At least 28 major health systems and payers have already pledged to convert 75% of business to value-based arrangements by 2020. How fast is your health system moving? Click here to download Regent’ new white paper today to learn more.