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Chronic care management, a vital by-product of the value-based care (VBC) payment system, was one of the most popular healthcare buzzwords of 2018.

It’s no wonder when a little over one-third of healthcare providers report a positive ROI on value-based care efforts over the past five years.

Having seen the benefits of both VBC and improved chronic care management, healthcare leaders have been analyzing 2018’s trends to see what 2019 has in store. Read on to discover the 5 chronic care management trends every healthcare organization should watch for in the new year.

1. Consumers Will Flock To Value-Based Care Providers

VBC models were built to please consumers, and it seems that they are doing the trick.

A whopping 80% of payers report improvements in care quality with VBC, while 73% report improved patient engagement. These promising statistics make it unsurprising that fee-for-service models now only make up 37.2% of reimbursements. By 2020, that number is expected to dip below 26%.

Providers that offer additional convenient programs such as comprehensive patient dashboards, minute clinics without co-pays, and primary care physicians (PCPs) located in shopping-centers will find that they are rewarded by improved consumer health—and consumer loyalty.

As we head into chronic care management of 2019, consumers will continue to support the healthcare organizations that provide the best care, leaving plain fee-for-service care centers in the dust and new VBC-focused centers scrambling to ensure their programs will succeed.

2. Payers Will Invest More In VBC Administrative Efforts

Even though it is a proven model, VBC is still new to both healthcare providers and payers.

For example, impressive medical cost savings, which have taken some healthcare organizations by surprise, are motivating 66% of payers to invest in administrative staff to support the future growth of episode-of-care programs.

While investment in administrative staff will continue in 2019, organizations will also invest in comprehensive care management platforms to help their administrators. These platforms will create even more efficiencies, enabling advanced administrative abilities, like controlling system permissions and providing an easy-to-use interface.

3. Data Collection Will Continue To Be A Focus

As opposed to fee-for-service models, value-based care is driven by data.

To demonstrate overall improvement, providers must report to payers using specific metrics, which must be quantifiable. Providers track and report on everything from readmissions to population health, and patient engagement to relapses in illness.

Given this need for data, healthcare organizations will begin to focus more on gathering, protecting, and analyzing data. While this can seem like a simple need to outsiders, any healthcare professional knows that healthcare data is often fragmented, incomplete, and difficult to access.

Because of the added difficulty of dealing with fragmented data, over half of payers are not very satisfied with their current value-based analytics, automation, and reporting capabilities. The need for clinical analytics for payers, providers, and other healthcare organizations is growing by a compound annual rate of 12.5% each year.

In 2019, this growth will continue, meaning that eyes will be on data the whole year.

4. Healthcare Organizations Will Improve Data Interoperability

Healthcare organizations produce and work with a lot of data. Unfortunately, because the data comes from so many various groups and departments, it is often located within multiple systems, hindering data interoperability.

Fragmented data leads to many problems for chronic care management. For chronic care to be effective, providers must have access to a patient’s past data. Without this data, providers cannot locate a patient’s health trends, avoid gaps of care, or ensure smooth transitions of care.

Hospitals need data interoperability as well. With access to a high-level view of hospital trends and population information, they can identify areas for improvement, schedule staffing, and act on connections they might not have seen before.

Data interoperability is so important that over 70% of healthcare financial executives say that it must improve within two years for VBC to truly succeed. One of the focuses of 2019 will be improving data interoperability to the point where all groups working within a healthcare organization’s ecosystem will have access to comprehensive individual and hospital-wide data.

5. Commercial Lines Will Lead The Way

If you feel like you’ve noticed a lot of startups in the healthcare industry recently, you’ve identified a legitimate trend that will be a big feature of chronic care management 2019. As HIT Consultant has found, “for the first time, commercial lines, not government lines of business, are leading adoption, advancement, and innovation of value-based care models and strategies.”

Pushing for improved patient care at the same time as business savings, these brands are helping healthcare organizations improve everything from administrative efficiency to patient engagement, and will continue to do so in 2019.

Interested in capitalizing on the top trends of chronic care management 2019? Contact us today to see how we can help you better manage quality of care while achieving your operating and performance goals.