When I envision the U.S. well being care system, the very first thing that involves thoughts is a Jackson Pollock portray: splashes of coloration chaotically surrounding white house. The splashes of coloration characterize current well being care venues and sources; the white house represents the gaps throughout our system that stop sufferers from gaining the suitable entry and the suitable assist to enhance their well being.
Loads of options have come to market in an effort to enhance the supply of well being care. However most are geared toward filling the white house reasonably than organizing the chaos and higher coordinating care supply among the many splashes of coloration. They’re saying, “Hey, I’ll take this one space of white house — this one illness, this one organ, this one unfilled area of interest — and develop an answer to successfully tackle it.”
To make sure, a few of these options ship worth. For sufferers, although, they usually create elevated fragmentation and a worse total expertise. For well being plans, they create extra complexity for care administration. For suppliers, they additional hamper their skill to have an entire image of every affected person and to efficiently coordinate care.
In the meantime, well being care prices proceed to escalate, regardless of all these level options promising vital price reductions of their areas of affect.
I’m not suggesting there isn’t any function for level options. The white house must be stuffed. But the U.S. should additionally resolve the worsening fragmentation for folks needing well being care companies.
Associated: Major care clinicians are the glue to well being and wellness. Their scarcity spells hassle
New fashions delivering high-quality, coordinated care could also be an answer. On this course, federally certified well being facilities is usually a supply of guiding mild. A strong instance of that is Seattle-based Sea Mar Group Well being Facilities, a company that has deployed a reasonably easy equation to remodel care supply for its inhabitants. (This isn’t a self-interested promotion; I’ve no monetary or different ties to Sea Mar.)
Sea Mar was based in 1978 as a complete well being middle for Seattle’s Latino group. It started with one small clinic within the South Park neighborhood. At present, Sea Mar is one in every of western Washington’s largest suppliers of community-based well being and human companies. There are 4 parts to Sea Mar’s successful equation.
Entry is the mission. With an unlimited community of brick and mortar areas, coupled with group well being employees and different strategies for delivering in-home care, Sea Mar will increase primary entry to look after all its sufferers.
Belief is the usual. The group goals to create belief amongst its members by personalizing assist based mostly on their wants. Within the early days, Sea Mar’s inhabitants predominately spoke Spanish. At present, its members communicate 50 completely different languages. Sea Mar solves for this with care coordinators and interpreters to bridge language and tradition gaps. Each step of the best way, Sea Mar builds fairness with members by persistently responding to well being care wants and doing so in a manner that includes and accounts for his or her particular cultural and social wants.
“You may’t be efficient with out belief,” Julian Perez, the doctor chief for Sea Mar, instructed me. “We come from the group. We determine and relate with our sufferers, which is a giant a part of it.”
Major care is the engine. To simplify navigating the system and growing coordination of care, Sea Mar brings as a lot as attainable underneath the purview of major care. It sees major care because the quarterback for every particular person’s well being care journey.
Worth-based reimbursement pays the payments. The ultimate piece of the Sea Mar formulation is financing. The group leans closely on value-based fashions for reimbursement. Such fashions present it with the flexibleness wanted to ship care in a different way and to do what’s greatest for every affected person whereas remaining financially steady. Worth-based fashions permit the plan to put money into areas of want and to direct sources to sufferers who’re at highest threat.
Sea Mar has created continuity amongst physicians, hospitals, and specialty care to handle greatest practices, enhance transitions of care, and construct in further layers of assist for its members. This contains ensuring sufferers have a number of methods to speak with the plan based mostly on their preferences. In addition they attempt to tackle social obstacles and determinants instantly, with well being schooling delivered via their very own radio station, and connections that present transportation and wholesome meals.
Studying from the Sea Mar mannequin
Sea Mar gives a number of classes for well being methods and medical practices. First, it’s necessary to achieve a greater understanding of which major care medical teams are acting at a excessive stage inside a given community. Partnering with these teams to enhance their skill to generate even higher outcomes is a good path ahead. After which, it’s about main members to these supplier teams, significantly these members who’re extra susceptible and medically advanced.
Second, suppliers should discover methods to forestall sufferers with advanced medical, behavioral and social wants from falling via the cracks. That is simpler stated than accomplished, particularly for suppliers who’re grappling with capability challenges, staffing shortages and burnout regularly. Nevertheless, partnering with different out there native and regional group care suppliers to ship in-home companies extends care entry to those that want it.
Lastly, suppliers should put money into the suitable companies and options to fulfill their distinctive affected person care wants and organizational objectives. This contains knowledge analytics capabilities, care processes and growth of a multi-disciplinary staff — corresponding to pharmacists, social employees and group well being advocates — who can expertly prolong the attain of well being system and medical apply suppliers. To do that appropriately additionally requires partnership throughout a number of stakeholders, together with regional well being plans, public well being departments and care organizations that may additionally act as an extension of scientific groups.
Collectively, we are able to each fill the white house and higher join the ecosystem in order that we extra successfully and holistically assist sufferers — significantly those that are susceptible and underserved.
Chris Dodd is an inside drugs doctor, scientific teacher on the College of Washington Faculty of Public Well being, and chief medical officer at Emcara Well being. He additionally serves on the board of the Dwelling Centered Care Institute.