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Blog | May 17, 2023

The Role of Nurses in Value-Based Care

By agilon health staff

As the health care industry continues to evolve, value-based care (VBC) is gaining momentum as an effective way to improve patient outcomes while controlling costs. And while physicians are often the first healthcare professionals that come to mind when discussing VBC, it’s important not to overlook the vital role that nurses and care teams play in delivering high-quality, patient-centered care to seniors.

Increased Demand for Nurses

The demand for skilled nurses has increased significantly in recent years. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for other occupations.

To meet this increased demand and provide high-quality, patient-centered care, healthcare organizations are turning to innovative models like agilon health’s. agilon partners with practices and health systems, moving them to full-risk VBC or a Total Care Model. By providing the capital, data, payor relationships, executive experience, and contract support, agilon enables physicians to focus on what they do best: caring for their patients. This model not only improves patient outcomes but also helps reduce physician burnout by providing the support and resources they need to succeed.

“The fee-for-service model is very brutal—especially for smaller groups like us. You have to keep seeing more and more patients every year just to stay afloat,” Dr. Gurneet Kohli, Chief Medical Officer at Premier Family Physicians, says. “That’s not sustainable. Partnering with agilon took this paradigm from episodic care and flipped it to a continuous care model, which allows us to provide the highest quality care for our patients.”

The Impact of Value-Based Care on Nurse’s Roles and Responsibilities

Nurses play a crucial role in increasing the value of healthcare, as emphasized by publications from organizations such as the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the University of Pennsylvania. These publications recognize the importance of nurses in leading change across healthcare organizations and driving the transformation of the nation’s healthcare system toward a value-based model that achieves preferred outcomes and focuses on improving health and quality of care. As a result, nurses are a pivotal component in this shift toward VBC.

Nurses work closely with primary care physicians, specialists, and other members of the care team to enhance patient care and minimize the number of readmissions. This collaboration not only improves patient outcomes but also promotes teamwork and communication among care team members.

VBC can also streamline administrative tasks, which improves job satisfaction for nurses and allows them to focus on their top priority: helping patients regain or maintain their health.

With a focus on preventing illness, nurses are able to provide more health education to patients, which may not have been feasible under the previous fee-for-service model. Additionally, spending more time with patients helps build relationships and increase trust.

“I love patients!” Katrina Yanez, Clinical Operations Manager at Premier Family Physicians in Austin, Texas, and former nurse, says. “I’m very patient-centric in everything I do, and I try to infuse that into everything I do as a mentor: What is the best thing for our patient?”

Supporting Nurses and Physicians in Value-Based Health Care

The VBC model allows physicians, nurses, and care teams to put the patient first by eliminating work that does not directly contribute to patient well-being. This model incentivizes care teams to prioritize preventive care and wellness, reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming treatments.

Additionally, VBC has encouraged the adoption of technology to improve efficiency. Data analytics enables care teams to identify patients who are at risk for chronic conditions, which allows them to provide preventive care and reduce the need for costly treatments down the line.

“In a fee-for-service world, there are a lot of services we can’t provide for senior patients because they’re not reimbursed, but inherently they make sense,” Dr. Jay Zdunek, former Chief Medical Officer at Austin Regional Clinic: ARC and currently agilon’s VP of Clinical Partnerships says. “In our value-based world, we can invest ahead of the outcome because we know we’re going to get a benefit. If it means having someone go out to see a patient because they’re not able to get around, that makes sense for us.”

How agilon Helps Nurses Lean Into VBC

agilon health’s Total Care Model provides better support to nurses and care teams by emphasizing collaboration and shared responsibility for patient health. By focusing on preventive care and wellness, nurses and the entire care team can reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes.

Learn more about how agilon’s full-risk value-based care model improves the patient and provider experience.

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