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How Md. hospital moved to a value-based system



Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, the flagship of the Western Maryland Health System.

Barry Ronan, president and CEO of Western Maryland Health System, based in Cumberland, Md., writes about how his system has moved to a value-based care-delivery model.

“We have to maintain market share, but otherwise we are expected to bend the cost curve, which we have achieved each year since 2011.”

“We deliver care in the most appropriate location and partner with many who previously were our competitors. We have reduced use rates, emergency department visits, readmissions, unnecessary admissions and use of observation beds. We have added primary-care practices throughout the region, embedded care coordinators in our physician practices and established a pay-for-performance initiative for our physicians to better align incentives. We provide medications for 30 days to any patient upon discharge, follow up immediately with discharged patients and have dramatically expanded our Home Care program. We also work in partnership with our area skilled nursing facilities, and we address chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD and hypertension at no cost to the patient through our Center for Clinical Resources.”

“Over the last six years, we have become a very different organization by moving away from volume and focusing on a value-based care delivery system that embraces the components of the Triple Aim of healthcare reform.”

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