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Alternative payment models in global healthcare on the rise

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Different modes of cost coverage incentivises greater efficiency, quality, and accessibility of healthcare services.

The global healthcare industry has long relied on traditional payment models, such as insurance-based systems, and fee-for-service arrangements, in which healthcare providers are paid based on the amount of healthcare services they deliver.

However, in recent years, rising costs and the increasing demand for high-quality healthcare have driven interest in the use of alternative payment models to incentivise greater efficiency, quality, and accessibility of healthcare services. But what alternative models are available?

Alternative models of payment

One of the major alternative payment models is the value-based care model. The model focuses on the value of the care provided, rather than the volume of services delivered. It is designed to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare by incentivising providers to focus on preventative, rather than reactive medicine that promotes healthier lifestyles and tackles the causes of chronic illness.

In a value-based care model, providers are typically paid a set fee for each patient. This fee is based on the expected costs and outcomes of the care provided, with the value of the care determined by measuring health outcomes against the cost of delivering them.

The model is being increasingly adopted by insurance companies and healthcare providers to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare while limiting costs. However, adoption is limited by the need for robust data analytics capabilities to track and measure outcomes and costs.

Another alternative payment model is the direct primary care model, in which patients pay a monthly or annual fee to a primary care provider for access to a range of healthcare services. This model aims to reduce costs by eliminating the need for insurance and lowering administrative overheads. It also aims to improve the quality of care by allowing primary care providers to spend more time with their patients and develop long-term relationships.

The role of telemedicine

Telemedicine is another area in which alternative payment models are gaining traction. With the increasing use of technology, patients can access healthcare services remotely through videoconferencing or other virtual methods. This can improve access to care for those living in rural or underserved areas and reduce the need for in-person visits.

Telemedicine payment models often involve a flat fee or subscription-based model, rather than the traditional fee-for-service model.

In a subscription-based model, the patient pays a flat fee for access to telemedicine services for a specific period. This model is like a gym membership, where the patient pays a monthly fee to have access to telemedicine services as needed.

Ultimately, these alternative models are designed to incentivise higher quality healthcare by tying healthcare payments to outcomes, rather than the volume of care. By adopting these models, doctors and healthcare providers will be rewarded for helping patients improve their health, reduce the effects and incidence of chronic disease, and ultimately live healthier lives.

Healthcare providers around the world should look closely at these payment models as a solution to spiralling healthcare costs.

TAGS: Technology
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