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Driving Health Care Value One Step at a Time!

By Washington Health Alliance’s Karen Johnson and Bree Collaborative’s Ginny Weir

Entering a new year is often a time for reflection and renewal. The first few weeks of 2021 have provided much to reflect upon – as if 2020 had not already provided ample opportunity for self-reflection. While the issues are many and the solutions are complex, we at the Bree Collaborative and Washington Health Alliance remain committed to our shared mission of improving health and health care in Washington state.

Throughout 2021, we will be inviting you to join us in the movement to value by building on the momentum from the Value-Based Summit co-presented by our organizations in November. The Summit underscored the important roles that health care purchasers, plans, and providers each play in making health care what we want it to be in Washington state. We know from the conversations we have had with many of you since the Summit that you share our commitment and are seeking ways to accelerate the efforts happening within your own organizations.

Our national Summit speakers were asked to identify the changes required to successfully drive to greater health care value.  They are summarized here as four accelerators for change that all key stakeholders – purchasers, plans, and providers – can take to improve care for patients in Washington state.

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The Summit keynote speaker Dr. Don Berwick provided a stark reminder that, while addressing the health care system’s inefficiencies continues to be a priority, it cannot be our sole focus. He challenged us to also act based on a moral obligation to address the broader social issues and inequities that contribute to health. And we believe he’s right. It is time to take action. If you have any doubt, read his inspirational commentary, The Moral Determinants of Health here.

Summit speaker David Muhlestein from Leavitt Partners reminded us that meaningful change starts with rewarding person-centered care and moving away from fee-for-service payments. These visuals that he provided during the Summit provide an insightful look into the way fee-for-service as the predominant payment mechanism hold us back from realizing the health care value we all want. Until and unless we change the underlying payment models to reward patient-centered, cost-efficient care delivery, the search for value will be elusive.

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The Washington State Health Care Authority (Director Sue Birch and Dr. Judy Zerzan-Thul) provided an overview of Washington efforts and the provider panel, representing a wide range of perspectives, described how everyone can participate in making the fundamental shifts necessary to support care delivery that prioritizes the needs of patients. If you missed the Summit, you can view the recording and presentations here.

We are inviting you to join forces with the Alliance and Bree in accelerating the movement towards greater health care value. So, let’s start the new year right. If you want to be counted among those committed to change in 2021, please let us know by emailing Karen at the Alliance or Ginny at Bree.

We want you to know that you won’t be going it alone! The Alliance and Bree will be working together to synchronize efforts across the important stakeholder work our organizations undertake as central to our work. We are also sponsoring a year-long series of webinars, A Framework for Action to Drive Health Care Value that will address each of the accelerators for change and provide you with practical suggestions and guidance you can implement within your own organizations.

Join us for:

  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health (January 21st ) Register here.
  • Building Patient-Centric and Administratively Efficient Interoperable Data Systems (April 15)
  • Coordinating Multi-Payer Strategies to Align Quality Measurement (July 15)
  • Implementing Multi-Payers Strategies to Align Provider Payment (October 21)

We would love to hear your suggestions or perhaps you have a success story to share!  Feel free to reach out directly to Karen or Ginny.  We would love to hear from you!

Published: January 21, 2021

About Washington Health Alliance

The Washington Health Alliance is a place where stakeholders work collaboratively to transform Washington state’s health care system for the better. The Alliance brings together organizations that share a commitment to drive change in our health care system by offering a forum for critical conversation and aligned efforts by stakeholders: purchasers, providers, health plans, consumers and other health care partners. The Alliance believes strongly in transparency and offers trusted and credible reporting of progress on measures of health care quality and value. The Alliance is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit with more than 185 member organizations. A cornerstone of the Alliance's work is the Community Checkup, a report to the public comparing the performance of medical groups, hospitals and health plans and offering a community-level view on important measures of health care quality (www.wacommunitycheckup.org).

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