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Meeting lets employers, providers explore solutions

Nov. 14, 2013, 8:26 AM

Vanderbilt’s Mark Cianciolo speaks at Tuesday’s Employer Roundtable on Healthcare Value at the Student Life Center. (photo by Anne Rayner)

As never before, large employers and regional health care providers have opportunity — and incentive — to work together to tame unsustainable health benefit cost inflation while improving health and health care outcomes.

That shared opportunity was explored at the latest semi-annual Vanderbilt Employer Roundtable on Healthcare Value, held Tuesday at the Student Life Center.

The roundtable was founded 18 months ago to bring large self-insured employers from the region into a dialogue with each other and with senior leaders of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Vanderbilt Health Affiliate Network (VHAN).

“As employers, we’ve determined that value is based on maintaining a healthy and productive workforce, and a culture of health that helps people lower their risk of chronic disease,” Mark Cianciolo, executive director of VHAN, told the group at the start of the meeting, adding that employers and providers seem ready for direct collaboration to achieve improved value.

After reviewing the economics of employer-funded health benefits, the group reviewed new solutions taking shape within VHAN to improve health for beneficiaries and value for payers.

According to Cianciolo, many of the ideas shaping VHAN came from roundtable participants.

There’s opportunity now for “providers and employers to collaborate and develop some innovative models of care delivery,” Cianciolo said, adding that the infrastructure necessary to make VHAN clinically integrated and truly accountable for health outcomes is a work in progress.

Meaningful performance data is an absolute requisite for provider accountability. New technology solutions are in the pipeline to track performance of individual VHAN providers and help providers manage population health.

VHAN providers have committed to participate in VHAN quality reporting and improvement efforts.

“Ultimately, we want to understand the gaps in care, what’s missing in the treatment of these patients. Once we have VHAN outcomes data, we’ll truly be able to look at populations across the state,” Cianciolo said.

“We need to reinvent the health care delivery system while realigning incentives of payers and providers and understanding each other’s perspectives. How quickly we can move down this path toward true population health, I’m not sure any of us has the crystal ball, but we’re moving toward that goal.”

VHAN services are available through Aetna.

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