Health Care Transformation Task Force White Paper

Keep Patient Perspective Prominent in Value-based Health Care

September 15, 2016 09:23 am News Staff

It's important that patients' values, views and concerns not be forgotten in the nation's race to create a true value-based health care system.

[Woman sitting on exam room table in doctor's office]

To ensure the patient perspective is indeed recognized, the Health Care Transformation Task Force(www.hcttf.org) recently released a white paper,(static1.squarespace.com) titled "Addressing Consumer Priorities in Value-Based Care: Guiding Principles and Key Questions."

The task force is a consortium of patients, payers, providers and purchasers looking to accelerate the pace of health care delivery system transformation in the United States.

In keeping with its work to shape the development of new models of care, the AAFP joined the task force in September 2015 as one of 42 members.

In a recent press release(www.hcttf.org) about the white paper, task force Executive Director Jeff Micklos said, "It's one thing to talk the patient-centered talk, but walking the walk is hard work because it requires rethinking the entire continuum of patient and consumer engagement -- from the point of care to governance -- and embracing many divergent points of view along the way."

Story Highlights
  • The Health Care Transformation Task Force recently released a white paper that addresses consumer priorities and value-based health care.
  • Authors provided a framework of six guiding principles, each followed by a list of key questions for use by stakeholders moving forward in the transformation of the nation's health care system.
  • A related Health Affairs Blog summarizes the paper and explains how it blends perspectives of the four key stakeholder groups.

Statement of Intent, Purpose

In their introduction, the authors noted that their intention was to "help ensure that consumer priorities remain front and center for consideration during all phases of the transformation to a value-based care system."

"Our purpose is both aspirational and practical," they said.

"The paper does not seek to provide definitive answers to questions of how to modify policy and practice to better account for consumer priorities. Instead, it strives to provide a framework -- a set of guiding principles and key questions that stakeholders involved in developing new policies and practices for improving health care can use, and find useful, in their work."

The authors paid particular attention to the "overarching question" of how best to engage patients/consumers in actively sharing responsibility for their own health.

Guiding Principles, Related Questions

The framework is organized around six broad principles and offers more than 130 questions for discussion and action. Here is a list of those principles and a sampling of questions that correspond to each.

Principle one: Include patients/consumers as partners in decision-making at every level of care.

  • Are patients and consumers meaningfully engaged in governance and oversight?
  • Are person-centered performance measures included?
  • Does the system's design empower consumers to engage in their own health and wellness decision-making?
  • Has the system considered implementing mechanisms to help consumers take responsibility for their care?
Blog Authors Summarize Task Force Work

Get a different perspective on a new white paper titled "How Person-Centered is Your Health Care Organization?" from authors of a post in the Aug. 30 Health Affairs Blog.(healthaffairs.org)

The post, written by five executive committee members of the Health Care Transformation Task Force, summarizes the paper and explains how it blends perspectives of the four key stakeholder groups -- people, purchasers, providers and payers -- that represent the care delivery spectrum.

"We hope and expect that the task force's consensus framework will make a significant contribution toward advancing a person-centered, value-based care system, but we also recognize that it is only a start," write the authors.

Principle two: Deliver person-centered care.

  • Does the effort foster a strong foundation of primary care -- for instance, the patient-centered medical home model -- to coordinate care across the care spectrum?
  • Can patients count on having individualized care plans?
  • Does the system support patient-centered workflows?
  • Are patients protected from the limitations of a too-narrow network of care providers?

Principle three: Design alternative payment models that benefit patients/consumers.

  • Do patients and consumers benefit from this model?
  • Are vulnerable patient populations protected in terms of access to care, treatment and payment?
  • Do high-cost/high-need patient populations benefit in terms of improved outcomes?
  • Does this model offer patients a choice in enrollment and in the selection of providers?

Principle four: Drive continuous quality improvement.

  • Are patients and their caregivers (family, friends and community-based advocates) engaged in efforts related to quality improvement?
  • Is there a requirement to gather and analyze important data that supports continual improvement, and is there a plan to publish "process and outcomes" data in consumer-accessible formats?
  • Is the system using up-to-date quality measures?

Principle five: Accelerate use of person-centered health information technology

  • Is the use of person-centered health IT encouraged and supported?
  • Can all health care network participants gather and share appropriate electronic health data with one another and with patients?
  • Do patients have access to patient portals, applications and telemedicine systems that enable the exchange of information about the program?

Principle six: Promote health equity for all.

  • Does the effort provide links to community-based services and programs that address the social determinants of health including food and housing?
  • Are special services such as translators and health coaches available for at-risk populations?
  • Does the model's payment policy support risk adjustments, where necessary, based on socioeconomic status and demographic factors and make nonrisk-adjusted data publically available?

The paper's authors noted that the principles and questions aim to highlight consumer priorities for health care stakeholders as they develop policies and tools to drive person-centered, value-based health care.

"The principles and questions provide a starting point for multi-stakeholder conversations. They will likely be updated and refined as the journey toward a person-centered, value-driven health care system continues," the authors concluded.

Related AAFP News Coverage
Task Force Explores Payment Models to Promote, Sustain Needed Care
(6/14/2016)