Better communication leads to better outcomes.
Improve Reimbursements, reduce costs, and increase your market share!
The Issue: Value-based purchasing (VBP) requires that healthcare organizations demonstrate that they are successfully providing quality care — reduced adverse events, shorter length of stay and lower readmission rates — or face financial penalties.
In 2010 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Hospital VBP Program, which linked quality to payments and mandated a pay-for-performance model of reimbursement based on a set of clinical quality measures as well as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient experience survey. Under the program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) initiative rewards acute-care hospitals with incentive payments for providing quality care to Medicare beneficiaries and penalizes organizations that perform poorly.
The VBP initiative rewards hospitals based on:
- The quality of care provided to Medicare patients;
- How closely best clinical practices are followed; and
- How well hospitals enhance patients’ experiences of care during hospital stays.
When payment is based on value and value is being determined by patient satisfaction and compliance with clinical quality measures, both the patient experience and standardization of care become critically important.
Because communication is key to the patient experience and intimately tied to health outcomes, access to medically qualified interpreters is an integral part of a successful VBP whenever caring for limited English proficient (LEP), Deaf or hard of-hearing (HOH) patients.
The Impact: Organizations must focus on improving overall quality of care, measure and report their results to maximize reimbursement.
One strategy that organizations employ to improve quality is to standardize care delivery. Standardizing language access helps to eliminate an unnecessary care gap for LEP, Deaf and HOH patients and streamlines the cost to provide interpreter and translation services. This in turn helps eliminate clinical variation and increase patient satisfaction, while reducing overall language services expenses.
To improve clinical effectiveness and efficiency, organizations are intensifying efforts to standardize care by implementing and adhering to evidence-based practices. The goal is to deliver safe, effective, affordable care and meet CMS quality requirements. In general, standardization has been shown to deliver:
- More consistent outcomes
- Reduced waste
- Better efficiency
- Improved patient safety
- Lower costs
In terms of language access, standardization of care would, at a minimum, include these steps outlined in an accreditation update by AHC Media:
- Consistently collecting and recording in the electronic medical record (EMR) whether patients speak a language other than English at home.
- If yes, then recording what that language is and how well the person speaks English: very well, well, not well, or not at all. NOTE: Any response other than ‘very well’ classifies a person as LEP.
- Provide medically qualified interpreters or bilingual providers to all LEP patients and families.
- Provide professionally translated prescriptions, discharge instructions, and any other handouts in a patient’s primary language, and review these materials with the patient with the assistance of a medical interpreter.
How InDemand Can Help
Implementing a comprehensive language access program that includes video remote interpreting (VRI) can play an important role in transitioning from volume- to value-based care. And, InDemand Interpreting is uniquely qualified to assist you with the planning and operational transformation necessary to successfully implement the optimal language access across the entire care continuum, while driving down the average cost per interpreting encounter.
With more languages being spoken in the country today, LEP populations reaching over 25 million people nationwide and roughly 4 million Deaf/HOH people, InDemand offers providers some of the best-trained medically qualified interpreters in the country. Our medical interpreters are carefully screened and tested to ensure they meet our high-quality standards and receive extensive training. Additionally, we employ a medical document translation process that has been developed to meet the strict, recently-updated regulations.
Our VRI solution delivers high-quality, high-definition video and audio to enable better communication between patients and providers to support better outcomes. InDemand currently offers 200 over the phone languages and 25 VRI languages at the touch of a button. We also offer custom designed and assembled VRI devices for convenient use anywhere across the care continuum.