Siemens Consultancy to Address Value-based Purchasing, HACs, Readmissions

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Siemens Healthcare jumped into the health-care reform fray with three new consulting services intended to help customers identify systems and processes to improve quality and reduce cost. One will assist providers in adapting to value-based purchasing (VBP); two others will address readmissions and hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). “Many hospitals and health systems do not operate from a position of excess revenue,” said John Glaser, PhD, CEO, Siemens Healthcare, Health Services, in a press release. “As the outcomes that are measured become increasingly tied to the reimbursement stream, it will be critical that our customers can rely on methods to detect and remedy variation.” Targeted at current users of Siemens’ HIS solution, Soarian, the new services will primarily leverage the system’s suite of dashboards and workflow elements to craft tailored responses to VBP, HACs, and readmissions. The three new services fall within the Health Insights and Reform consulting practice, one of four offered by Siemens Healthcare Strategic Consulting. “You obviously don’t just drop this product in, and the health system changes the way they are doing business and treating patients,” Steve Graver, VP, Siemens Healthcare Strategic Consulting, told imagingBiz. “You have to work with the clinicians, the chief quality officer, the CMO, and the CMIO to get consensus, then work through the changes from an operational standpoint.” Mark D. Garfield, MD, FACP, FCCP, vice president and CEO at Kaweah Delta Medical Center joined Siemens to announce the new services after working with the company’s consulting executives to establish a response to VBP that involved establishing baseline metrics and analyzing the impact on outcomes of various process changes. “The managing board of Kaweah Delta Medical Center has made it a priority that we act as standard bearers in health reform,” said Mark D. Garfield, MD, FACP, FCCP, Vice President, and Chief Medical Officer at Kaweah Delta Medical Center, in a press release. “It is their expressed belief that these efforts will impact the financial performance of the health system and, more importantly, improve the level of care that is delivered to the community of Visalia.” The new solution for preventing readmissions helps providers and payors with benchmarking, performance improvement, and continuous quality improvement by creating or enhancing effective programs. The HAC program provides services that deliver and support risk identification, outcomes improvement, identification of conditions present on admission, condition and risk monitoring, and industry benchmarks for the 10 categories of conditions that guide the HAC payment provision before, during, and after a patient visit, the vendor stated in a release. Since taking the helm in 2010, Graver has grown the division from 130 people to nearly 300 today, not including implementation personnel, who are highly engaged as partner to the consulting arm. “These services have to deliver value and business results to our customers,” Garver told imagingBiz. “In the end, our customers are in charge of how large we grow and how fast we grow.”