chronic wounds healing

Why your 2020 Resolution Should be Bringing Value to Wound Care

Pick up a paper today or turn on the TV, and you will hear snippets about healthcare issues impacting seniors, rising costs, Medicare cuts, how to pay for care, and how to get better care. Some terms we hear are value-based care, outcomes-based care, and alternative payment models.

What is all this really getting at? It is speaking about how our health system has evolved. The sophistication and advances in care have brought us to the point that we can no longer afford to pay for every service provided without understanding and demanding value for those services. We must move from volume (paying for more and more units of service) to value (paying for services linked to measured outcomes).

Value in healthcare is simply the outcome that matters to the patient over the economic cost. Wounds cause significant morbidity and mortality and have high associated healthcare expenses.

It has been estimated Medicare spends over $25 billion dollars per year directly related to wounds. In the over 75 years of age group, we find the highest prevalence of wounds. Vohra Wound Physicians treated over 80,000 patients in this age group, alone, last year.

Delivering value to these patients with wounds has a tremendous social and economic impact. Vohra is providing value in wound care by improving outcomes, preventing hospitalizations, and reducing costs.

At Vohra, we have achieved faster healing, reductions of infections, amputations, wound-related hospitalizations, and have reduced cost by eighty percent. Vohra Wound Care utilizes technology, education, specialized physicians, integrated dressing management, and a coordinated team approach to achieve its success.

In wound care, there is a measurement that is known as the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH). This measurement tool can be used to record the severity of wounds and track changes in the wound over time. A higher score is associated with a more severe wound. This tool is only valid for pressure ulcers and has some limitations. Because of this, we sought a better way to measure outcomes and improve care.

We created a tool to measure and create more high-value care. This tool allows for the prediction of how long a wound will take to heal and aids in selecting optimal treatment (available in all app stores).

Our treatment tool was developed through the application of augmented intelligence (AI) and sophisticated data analytics. Using machine learning and a database of over six million wounds, treated by physicians specializing in wound care, the Vohra AI determined the most important factors in wound healing are: age, etiology, location, length, width, exudate and amount of necrosis.

From seven data points entered in our tool, it is now possible to render the highest-value care and to accurately predict the clinical course when optimal treatment is provided. Low value, anecdotal, volume-driven, and non-evidence-based care are eliminated.

The Medicare program has a goal of linking all healthcare spending to value and not paying for volume. Vohra is a leader in the field of providing high-value care.

As an example, over the last three years, Vohra has achieved the highest rate of performance (exceptional performance category) under Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS). And last year, we launched a successful and innovative program that reduces low-value care, over-utilization, and waste in the area of advanced wound care dressings.

We are committed to the continuous delivery of care that is effective, innovative, and of high-value, and we are actively creating partnerships and programs that impact healthcare delivery in a meaningful and positive way. We invite you to join us and make value-based care part of your new year’s resolution.

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Author: Christopher Leonard, DO, MHI

Dr. Leonard is the Chief Information Officer at Vohra Wound Physicians. His experience includes developing a niche-specific, ONC-certified, proprietary electronic medical records (EHR) system. His expertise also lies in managing the data flow spectrum, machine learning, and product design related to healthcare technology. His creative vision supports Vohra’s mission in the continuous improvement of its novel healthcare delivery model.

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