The needs of patients continue to evolve, raising the stakes for the healthcare community to evolve its approach in meeting them. Gone are the days when patients had to rely on a single doctor or specialist; instead, the community now leans more into care coordination. This strategy improves patient care as well as safety and “synchronizes the delivery of a patient’s healthcare from multiple providers and specialists.” 

Care coordination 101 

In addition to helping ensure patient needs are met, care coordination ensures that information-sharing among providers is more streamlined. The intent of care coordination is to make sure that there is no information lost in translation.

It’s especially effective for patients who have complex healthcare needs and often includes those in professions such as case management, utilization review, and social work. 

case management

Vital to value-based care

As the healthcare industry continues its shift to a value-based approach, providers are incentivized to meet certain performance measures such as fewer emergency room visits. Care coordination is a critical part of value-based care because it helps meet those measures while facilitating the “patient’s needs and preferences are known and communicated at the right time to the right people and that this information is used to guide the delivery of safe, appropriate, and effective care.”

Care coordination professionals focus on streamlining care, ensuring issues are caught early and preventing them from becoming more significant and more costly issues later on. Uncoordinated care costs is certainly costly to patients and the industry: recent research shows that “inefficient, low-value, and uncoordinated care” resulted in over $200 billion per year.

The value-based care approach seeks to reduce cost while still providing the best care possible. That relies heavily on care coordination efforts, as they seek to put the pieces of the care puzzle together, reduce the risk of preventable hospital visits, and decrease the chances of duplicate services. Such efforts include:

  • managing care
  • managing medications and technology
  • establishing accountability
  • facilitating the sharing of knowledge
  • helping with transitions of care
  • assessing patient needs and goals
  • creating a proactive care plan
  • supporting patients’ self-management goals
  • linking to community resources

care coordination

Looking ahead for care coordination

Providers as well as payers continue to expand their implementation of care coordination professionals on their teams. This move has allowed:

  • doctors, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants to devote more time to clinical responsibilities
  • nurses, social workers, and case managers to serve patients with more complex needs
  • medical professionals with less clinical experience to focus on in-home patient support
  • care-coordination professionals to provide training to medical assistants on how to collect patient information

It’s also allowed more time for the industry to focus on how to best employ healthcare data. That data provides a wealth of information that can be used to develop coordination plans. Connecting the population health dots about which services are needed the most allows these professionals to create care plans accordingly.

We stand ready to deliver care coordination experts who support providers with proper management of the cost of care across the continuum and maximize the quality and cost efficacy of healthcare services.


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