Tracking Patients in Bundled Payments

A consistent question physicians and other providers want to know once they have entered an alternative payment program (such as bundled payments or accountable care) is “how is my organization doing?” Understanding performance is a struggle for organizations that depend on claims for measurement and identification. Waiting for “run-out” claims (claims that lag months behind the service date) can be a long and frustrating process. Historically providers and other participants in value-based payment programs can only learn and adapt after claims reconciliation, often 6 months or more into a program. While it is true that claims are the ultimate measure of performance and used for reconciling in retrospective bundled payment programs, there are now alternatives to waiting! Archway Health’s Carelink app provides real-time data and performance measurement for your bundled payment patients. Active Patient Tracking The best source for information about a patient’s experience during a 30, 60, or 90 day episode comes from actively tracking the patient as they move through the healthcare system. Archway Carelink provides a highly efficient method of tracking patients and providing real-time information for providers about their overall performance. Carelink is a mobile-enabled app that allows caregivers, patients and patient family members to update physicians and other members of the care team about the status of the patient at any time during the episode of care. Updates come from nursing facility caregivers, visiting nurses, physical therapists and even a patient or their family. Through Carelink, Archway has information about the actual services used by the patient including skilled nursing facility days, home health visits, physical therapy visits, ER visits and readmissions. This information is provided through the “ten-second update” feature on the Carelink app and is available immediately to our provider partners.

The “ten-second update” is designed to make it easy for care providers, both professional and a patient’s family, to provide critical information in a timely manner. Care providers provide information on the patient’s status, location, needs and any urgent care required through a mobile-enabled and HIPAA compliant app. These are the important data points that allow participants in at-risk payment programs to quickly intervene with patients and make critical programmatic changes that will guarantee success.

At-risk providers can then view the status of their entire active panel and quickly understand where to focus resources. Physicians are enabled with the key information that allows them to focus on patients that have immediate needs as well as to provide information to caregivers about the true importance of the condition they face. For example, a physician can communicate with a family caregiver and reassure them that a “red, swollen knee” is part of the normal healing process and avoid an unnecessary ER visit. Alternatively, the physician will also know when patients need to be seen and evaluated for additional treatment. Active intervention during the course of the episode drives true care transformation.