Changing the Face of Healthcare

Published: March 31, 2020

Value-based healthcare is beginning to gain traction in Arizona. Equality Health’s own Lisa Stevens Anderson, President of our Management Services Division, has taken on a leading role in supporting the transition across the state towards this model of care. Alongside other pioneers like Jami Snyder, Director of AHCCCS, Stevens Anderson continues to play a vital role in the ambitious changes being made to caring for the Medicaid population. In doing so, the future of healthcare in Arizona now has the potential to be more sustainable.

There are many healthcare professionals across Arizona focused on the transition to value-based care. Equality Health has been fortunate to work with many of those like-minded leaders including Kathy Oestreich, former CEO at Banner University Health Plans; Lorry Bottrill, CEO at Mercy Care; Kathy Thurman, Contract Manager at Care 1st; and Deena Siegel, CFO at Care1st. Each has played an integral role in embracing the model and putting the work in to create an environment for the value-based care initiative to be successful.

“The basis of what we do at Equality Health is provide the structure to support payers and providers through the transition to value-based care any way that we can,” shared Lisa Stevens Anderson. “The individual practices who don’t have the time, tools or resources to keep up with the standards being put into place because they’re too busy taking care of patients are the backbone of the entire healthcare system, and if we can’t help them succeed, the whole value-based care framework also won’t be successful.”

These audacious ideas are getting noticed and recently, the story to “rethink” healthcare in our state was featured in an article by the Phoenix Business Journal. It pointed out that value-based care seeks to incentivize plans and providers to take on additional risk related to the patients that they treat by rewarding them for keeping people healthy.

At Equality Health, we partner with local plans and practices to help take on a percentage of that risk by providing the technology, training, aligned incentives, and practice management support necessary to achieve higher quality care. Allowing doctors to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time caring holistically for their patients is what the Equality Health mission is all about.

We aim to increase quality and improve the care experience while reducing cost by redefining the value-based care business model between health plans, providers and members. This approach is, in fact, making an impact as evidenced by the 12% reduction in emergency department visits and 25% reduction in 30-day readmission rates for the Arizona Medicaid population. Further, 96% of Equality Health’s network practices have been trained on and are using care coordination technology to optimize outcomes, and 23% are now more efficient with transition-of-care work and gap management, reducing the overall administrative burden.

AHCCCS recognized that the transition to the value-based care model was necessary in order to contain costs and focus healthcare resources on an integrated care approach several years ago. It is now up to us to partner with plans and providers to ensure that they are prepared to get on board with that trend.

“Healthcare leaders in Arizona are prioritizing value-based initiatives within their respective organizations and that’s what continues to make success possible,” added Stevens Anderson. “At the end of the day, we have all recognized the value of joining together to drive better outcomes for patients, which ultimately benefits the healthcare industry as a whole.”