By mining episode-of-care data in this way, an organization can identify areas of cost drivers that must be addressed to gain efficiencies and improve care. In addition, episode of care offers the opportunity to look at the patient experience in a very granular way – by specific patient.
A granular view is very compelling to physicians and can’t be underestimated— it results in instant validity and credibility.
The value of episodic data is also important at the facility level where the concern is that post-acute cost is a key driver of episodic spending. It motivates hospitals to find ways to improve their delivery of care to reduce post-acute episodic costs, like re-admissions.
In a recent example: Hospitals engaged in bundled payments that experienced 30,000 knee episodes and 16,000 hip replacement episodes, spread out over an 18-month period. After evaluating the data, they discovered a reduction of episodic cost as the hospitals got more operationally efficient in their processes, and there was also a simultaneous decrease in length of stay. This demonstrates the facilities evaluated their episodic data and cost variations, made adjustments in their care delivery model and improved both efficiency and cost levels.
The right data can effectively highlight both processes and outcomes that need to be improved, as well as suggest what the best tools for improvement should be. Providers share in the risk and reward of managing the episode of care, so it’s in their best interest to evaluate the data and collaborate to increase efficiency.
As value-based care increasingly rewards better outcomes, providers will seek to align with health systems that support mutual success.