First Comes 'The Vision,' Then Comes Change

September 13th, 2016 - Moving to value-based payment requires a new way of thinking about patients, and a vision to transform your practice's workflow to measure outcomes. We offer free technical help to turn that vision into reality.

Transforming a practice from a fee-for-service to a value-based payment model is a massive project, and will vary from practice to practice. But one thing remains the same, and experts say it is the essential ingredient to the project’s success: your leadership’s willingness to commit to and engage in the change.

“Practice transformation starts at the top,” explains Christina Galanis, president and CEO of HealthlinkNY. “It requires a new way of thinking about patients, and doing what it takes to measure outcomes and costs. It takes vision and persistence. You have to keep your eye on the prize: better care for patients, for which you will be financially rewarded.”

“Top-down transformation” is key, agrees Joni M. Steinman, a principal at Strategic Interests, LLC, a New York health information technology (HIT) consultancy that is providing free practice transformation support to eligible HealthlinkNY participants. “Once engaged and committed leaders create a vision, that vision must be shared with everyone in the practice,” she says. “Leaders need to develop a detailed plan to transform the practice, with specific outcomes to measure progress. Our role is to help practices develop and manage the implementation of these plans.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has made it clear that future payment for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients will depend on how well providers manage their patients’ health, not on the quantity of services rendered. To help providers re-engineer the way they deliver care, CMS is funding free technical support through the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI). For the providers surrounding Binghamton and the Southern Tier, that technical support is provided by Strategic Interests.

Developing the Vision

One way leaders can begin to develop a vision for practice transformation is to rethink the provider-patient relationship. CMS described how the relationship will change in the list below, available in a TCPI presentation.

Traditional Approach

Transformed Practice

Patient’s chief complaints or reasons for visit determines care.

We systematically assess all our patients’ health needs to plan care.

Care is determined by today’s problem and time available today.

Care is determined by a proactive plan to meet patient needs.

Care varies by scheduled time and memory/skill of the doctor.

Care is standardized according to evidence-based guidelines.

Patients are responsible for coordinating their own care.

Prepared teams of professionals coordinate a patient’s care.

Clinicians know they deliver high-quality care because they are well trained.

Clinicians know they deliver high-quality care because they measure it and make rapid changes to improve.

It is up to the patient to tell us what happened to him or her.

You can track tests, consults, and follow-up after emergency department and hospital visits.

How Strategic Interests Helps

Strategic Interests will help practice leaders solidify their vision and construct a step-by-step plan for execution. The leading New York HIT consultancy has expertise in payment reform, and offers program management, implementation, and change management throughout the process.

Steinman notes that practice transformation will lead to more than financial reward. “You are actively helping patients obtain the best health they can have, and that gives your staff a great deal of satisfaction,” she says. “Staff members have a greater sense that they are doing something important, and they see the results because now you can document them.”


To learn more about free practice transformation vendor assistance for those practices that are eligible, contact Strategic Interests at or 585-797-2360.