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By Heather Grimshaw

Some executive teams (and board members) of health care provider organizations worry that value-based reimbursement (VBR) puts them on the wrong side of their mission. It’s an issue the OPEN MINDS team has written about—how VBR can help teams expand and improve services (see Does Paying For Value Work?). Last week Roy Leitstein, chief executive officer of Legacy Treatment Services, shared how his team has made that a reality during the session, Solving Value-Based Reimbursement Challenges With Real Data: One Provider Organization’s Story For Leveraging Technology & Data To Drive Performance at The 2019 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute.

Legacy Treatment Services is a $77 million non-profit behavioral health organization that serves 18,000 children and adults in New Jersey. Mr. Leitstein attributes Legacy’s growth from a $6 million organization to actionable use of data that informs and supports decisions. It’s an approach that allows the team to prove how its services result in better outcomes and lower costs—essential for success with VBR contracts.

But the ability to use data, and prove value, extends beyond VBR opportunities. A key point for executives in the audience was the need to operate health services organizations as businesses. He encouraged his colleagues to shed the social services mindset and follow the money, which requires a difficult but necessary cultural shift to focus on finances and ensure a competitive advantage.

Mr. Leitstein outlined two ways his organization has gained competitive advantage with data. First, by turning data into actionable information for decisionmaking and, second, to prove unique value to payers and to potential acquisition candidates. He gave examples of the decisionmaking utility of data—reporting that shows which service line contributes to the bottom line and which team members spend the most time with consumers. One specific example involved the decision of whether to add new staff. When asked to add another team member to the front desk, Mr. Leitstein reviewed call volume data to assess the need for additional staff. His message was that there are many management decisions to be made in every organization. The trick is to have a flexible electronic health record system with customizable reporting, which he likened to a LEGO® set of many pieces with infinite possible combinations.

On the value issue, Mr. Leitstein discussed how data can be used to both prove value to payers and to attract the “best” partners. When working with health plans, the ability to provide metrics on processes, costs, and outcomes is a clear competitive advantage. And he showcased how his team used data in developing a merger and another affiliation. Being able to present data on your operations, finances, and revenue growth is a plus.

Throughout the session, Mr. Leitstein helped the executives “connect the dots” between data, strategy, management, competitive advantage, and sustainability. The Legacy Treatment Services case study illustrates how teams can start with the data they have and build metrics-based management acumen. Get more guidance on using data to improve your strategic position in the market with these resources from the OPEN MINDS Circle Library:

  1. Building A Technology Infrastructure For Value-Based Care: Tech To Support Performance Management
  2. Tech Step #1: Getting The Data You Need
  3. The Essential Tech List For Value-Based Purchasing
  4. Structuring (& Budgeting For) Analytics
  5. Technology & Reporting Requirements For Population Health Management: Preparing For Value-Based Reimbursement
  6. Planning & Budgeting For Technology: How Much Is Enough?
  7. From Pain Point To Revenue
  8. Coordination, Care & Value-Based Contracting
  9. The Evolution Of Successful Value-Based Contracting
  10. From Big Data To Small Data—From The Ideal To The Possible

And learn more about the data-driven growth of Legacy Treatment Services, join me for the November 7 webinar “Solving Value-Based Reimbursement Challenges With Real Data: One Provider’s Story For Leveraging Technology & Data To Drive Performance” with Mr. Leitstein and OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Ken Carr.

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