7 Key Cost Reduction and Quality Improvement Strategies: A Series About the Latest OIG Study

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In July of this year, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a new study chronicling 20 high performing accountable care organizations (ACOs). Their efforts produced notable successes, each achieving a quality score of 90 or above and coming in less than their benchmark of spending within their second, third, or fourth performance year.

This study, entitled “ACOs’ Strategies for Transitioning to Value-Based Care: Lessons from the Medicare Shared Savings Program,” offers compelling understandings on how ACOs can stretch their funding further while expanding the quality of care they provide. The Acting Inspector General of the DHHS, Joanne M. Chiedi, attributed the bulk of these ACOs’ success stories to seven key strategies to maximize results in the value-based care space.

  1. Work alongside physicians
  2. Engage beneficiaries to take control of their health
  3. Manage beneficiaries faced with costly or complex care needs
  4. Reduce avoidable hospital admissions while improving hospital care
  5. Help control costs and improve the quality of skilled nursing (SNF) and home healthcare (HHA) options
  6. Address behavioral health and social determinants of health (SDoH)
  7. Use technology to increase information sharing among healthcare providers

When this report was published, I immediately sent it to our Advisory Services team with my briefing of the observations. Each strategy is information we are well-versed in here at Lightbeam Health Solutions, and our clients, too, have experienced these victories in how they care for their patients and earn impactful savings. This report sets us up for an informative blog series examining each of these strategies in greater detail; think of them as miniature Advisory Services sessions and a preview of what our end-to-end solution includes when entrusting us with population health management. Be sure to follow along as my colleagues give their analyses of these strategies in the coming weeks.

The full study can be found at https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-15-00451.asp

Josh Patten

Read more from Josh Patten, Lightbeam’s Director of Advisory Services.

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