Value-based purchasing makes healthcare staffing goals more important than ever.

Value-based purchasing makes healthcare staffing goals more important than ever.November 21, 2014 by Vickie Anenberg

Value-based purchasing is only in its second full year of implementation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS), but the concept is already transforming the healthcare industry. Forbes magazine recently reported that 40 cents of every healthcare dollar spent is now tied to healthcare value, an increase of 29 cents over last year.

What’s of particular note to Cross Country Staffing clients and anyone involved in fulfilling healthcare staffing needs, are the criteria by which CMS determines value-based payments. The quality of staff directly influences performance in all 12 of the clinical processes, as well as the nine patient experience measures CMS tracks. Successful performance in the clinical process measurements hinge on the technical skill of healthcare staff who must be able to effectively and efficiently carry out these processes. Among the patient experience measures, we see a heavy emphasis on the communication skills of healthcare staff, including their ability to explain medicines and treatments to patients and the effectiveness of their discharge instructions to patients and caregivers.

The quality of healthcare staff has always been important to patient outcomes. Now, value-based purchasing also ties staff quality and staffing levels to payments. Healthcare facilities that fail to meet staffing goals risk compromising quality, which could ultimately result in a reduction in Medicare payments. Conversely, healthcare facilities that demonstrate value and/or improved performance may reap the benefits of incentive payments.

We’ve always known that the value of patient care and the achievement of positive patient outcomes are primarily driven by the quality of a healthcare facility’s staff – and value-based purchasing supports that conclusion.

The movement toward value-based purchasing evolved in response to the need for healthcare reform, and although it’s gaining ground among healthcare facilities, insurers and employers, it’s probably too soon to predict the ultimate outcome of the initiative. One corollary, however, is certain: with performance now directly tied to payments, it’s more important than ever for healthcare facilities to maintain optimum staffing levels and hire quality healthcare staff that can help ensure their success in meeting performance measures.

Cross Country Staffing can help your healthcare facility hire the staff you need to ensure success in the new value-based healthcare environment. Contact us today to learn more about our workforce solutions.