The Impact of Value-Based Care on Stroke Recovery

By: Dan Oliver, VP Strategy & Business Development

Stroke Recovery

The Impact of Value-Based Care on Stroke Recovery

What is Value-Based Care (VBC)?

Value-based care is a healthcare delivery model that seeks to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction while reducing costs. This approach puts the patient's needs and preferences at the center of care delivery, emphasizing prevention, coordination, and collaboration among healthcare providers. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included several provisions aimed at promoting the adoption of value-based payment models. Since the passage of the ACA, there has been a growing emphasis on Value-Based Care (VBC) across the US healthcare industry, with many private payers, provider organizations, and government programs implementing VBC initiatives.

In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that about 43% of Original Medicare payments were tied to alternative payment models (APMs), which include VBC models like accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payment programs. In addition, a considerable number of commercial payers have been actively incorporating Value-Based Care (VBC) initiatives. As of 2020, 35% of all commercial payments were linked to alternative payment models (APMs).

Successful implementation of VBC depends heavily on the collaboration of all stakeholders - healthcare providers, payers (e.g. Medicare and Medicaid), patients, MedTech companies, regulators, and policymakers. 

 VBC is expected to evolve in the next few years, with the increased use of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, the development of alternative payment models, greater patient engagement, and integration with telehealth. These trends have the potential not only to reduce costs but to improve patient outcomes and drive innovation in the healthcare industry.

The Impact on Stroke

Stroke is a societal-level burden as it is considered a leading cause of long-term disability, resulting in significant social and economic costs (The estimated global cost of stroke is over US$721 billion). In addition to the personal and social impacts of stroke, there are also significant economic costs associated with the condition. Stroke survivors often require long-term care and rehabilitation and may be unable to work or perform daily activities, leading to lost productivity and increased healthcare costs.

Here are a few ways that value-based care could impact how we address stroke treatment:

  • Prevention: emphasizes prevention, which is critical in reducing the incidence and impact of stroke. Preventive measures can include lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, and the management of risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes. By promoting prevention, value-based care could help reduce the number of people who experience stroke.
  • Coordination: coordination of care among healthcare providers. In the context of stroke treatment, this could involve telemedicine to connect stroke specialists with patients in rural or remote areas. It could also involve the use of a multidisciplinary team to manage stroke patients, including neurologists, nurses, and rehabilitation specialists.
  • Outcomes: focused on improving patient outcomes. In stroke treatment, this could involve tracking outcomes such as functional status, quality of life, and mortality rates. By focusing on outcomes, value-based care could help identify best practices in stroke treatment and improve the overall quality of care.
  • Cost: reducing costs while improving outcomes in stroke. This could involve reducing hospital readmissions, avoiding unnecessary procedures or tests, and promoting the use of cost-effective treatments. By lowering costs, value-based care could help make stroke treatment more accessible and affordable.

Known Challenges of VBC

While value-based care has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs, there are also some existing challenges to this approach, such as adequately accounting for differences in patient populations, particularly those with complex or multiple health conditions.

This leads to the real pain point of the willingness among providers to take on financial risk and the ability to operationalize those risks. 

In addition, this approach places a significant burden on healthcare providers, who must collect and analyze data, coordinate care, and engage with patients to improve outcomes. This requires capabilities, resources, and adequate technical infrastructure. 

The aforementioned challenges could serve as an opportunity that technology and MedTech companies could facilitate in the near future.  

How MedTech Companies Can Encourage VBC

MedTech companies can encourage VBC by developing technologies that enable outcomes measurement and patient engagement (such as patient-reported outcomes), focusing on data analytics, adopting value-based pricing models, and collaborating with healthcare stakeholders. 

A few prominent examples from recent years are Medtronic's management platform for diabetes and Philips’s telehealth solutions, remote monitoring devices, and population health analytics tools.

BrainQ acknowledges the growing demand for value-based care (VBC) and is currently working on enhancing its therapy to meet this need. The company's technology primarily focuses on customized treatment utilizing an AI-powered neurological rehabilitation platform. Additionally, the platform allows for remote monitoring of patients' progress beyond conventional clinical settings. This feature also provides real-time data analytics which enables healthcare providers to gain insights into patients' progress, engagement, and empowerment in managing their health.

Our goal as an active member in the Medtech eco-system is to support the clear need to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs and, thus, promoting how we treat chronic illnesses and provide better care (stroke in particular).

Dan Oliver is the VP of Strategy and Business Development at BrainQ Technologies. With his deep commercial expertise, Dan plays a pivotal role in shaping the company's strategic direction, overseeing crucial aspects such as commercial strategy, corporate development, and the establishment of a robust market entry infrastructure.