Your Sherpa in the Everest of Value Based Care: Thoughts From the CEO, October 2023

Greetings CHPA Community,

On September 22, 2023 the CHPA Board and members of our leadership team met for our annual retreat. The theme was CHPA: Your Sherpa on the Everest of Value Based Care. This is much more than a cute play on words. If you aren’t familiar with Sherpas, they are members of a Tibetan people living in the Himalayan Mountains who provide support for trekkers and mountain climbers. When one reflects on the challenges of meeting the unique needs of each of our patients, combined with all their health-related social needs, it can seem like a mountainous climb in and of itself. When you layer in resource constraints, the complexities of value-based care (VBC), and contracted arrangements with payers, it becomes too daunting of a journey to venture out on alone.

CHPA is proud to be your Sherpa on our shared ascent through this challenging terrain. Shifting from the fee-for-service foundation that our healthcare system has been cobbled together on for decades is not easy. Just like successful mountain expeditions require meticulous planning, VBC necessitates careful consideration of a patient-centric approach, cost-effective care, measurable outcomes, communication, and determination. 

A patient-centric approach: VBC prioritizes patients’ needs and experiences, akin to a Sherpa focusing on hikers’ safety and well-being. In healthcare, the patient is at the center of all decisions, and providers do well to align their strategies to meet patient’s where they are. There is mounting evidence that patient perceptions of care have a meaningful correlation to their quality outcomes. This is also a weighted measure in Medicare Advantage Stars ratings. 

Cost-effective care: This is what we do best as a network. Much like a Sherpa, CHPA identifies the most efficient and cost-effective routes up a mountain, the work you do reduces costs not only for the system at a macro level, but for patients themselves.

Measuring outcomes: One of the core tenets of VBC is the measurement of outcomes, ensuring that the care delivered is effective. This is comparable to a Sherpa constantly assessing the progress of hikers, adjusting the plan if necessary to ensure a successful ascent. Healthcare providers, in collaboration with patients, monitor progress, adjust treatment plans, and strive for better outcomes.

Communication: Effective communication between the Sherpa and hikers is essential. Similarly, in healthcare, open and clear communication between providers and patients is vital. Providers and care teams educate patients about their conditions, treatment options, and expected outcomes, fostering shared decision-making.

Determination: Just as mountain hikes can pose numerous challenges, the transition to VBC is not without obstacles. Our CHC members set the standard with their grit, which is necessary to overcome resistance to change, technological barriers, and the need to develop new skills.

CHPA is honored to be your partner and guide. Together we will reach the pinnacle of Value-Based Care, improving the well-being of patients and the overall healthcare landscape.

Ben Wiederholt, Interim CEO