Medicare’s Triple Aim
Posted By Maryann On AUGUST 29,2017
All providers strive to be "patient centered." If they didn't like patients, they are in the wrong business! But in medicine, the health care system has taken over, and the needs of the organization or discipline frequently take precedence over the needs of the individual patient. In the quest to vanquish a disease, medical providers can easily forget that the patient's daily experience is what defines quality of life.
The Triple Aim
Many people do not know that Medicare recognizes this problem and has been making policy decisions not just to reduce costs and improve outcomes, but also to increase patient satisfaction.
In this month's newsletter for family caregivers, we outline the programs and new approaches that have grown out of Medicare's Triple Aim.
Shared decision making
One of the most interesting policy changes is a requirement that providers ask the patient what his or her goals of care are. Essentially, "If this treatment were successful, what would you be hoping you could do in your life? What would success look like?"
So, for instance, one person might really hope to go to a grandchild's graduation or wedding. Another wants to be able to get out in the garden and weed and water his plants again. A third might wish that she could return to her bible study class or the choir.
Building quality of life into the care plan
By requiring that providers ask these personal goals questions, Medicare is opening the door for truly patient-centered care. Treatment decisions can be evaluated based on the pros and cons relative to the likelihood of arriving at each patient's unique goal. Theoretically, two patients at the same stage of a disease could end up with very different treatment plans, and appropriately so. Shared decision making acknowledges that each of us has our own personal definition of quality of life and puts THAT at the center of decision making.
At Caring Choices, this client-centered focus is baked into our approach. Health and well-being are not necessarily an end in themselves. They are usually a resource that we as humans draw upon so we can do those things that give us joy and bring meaning to our lives. People are more than a collection of organ systems. That's why our approach encompasses not only physical needs, but also the emotional, social, mental, and, when appropriate, the spiritual needs of our clients.
Need an advocate?
These new Medicare policies are noble in their intent, but that doesn't mean that change will be quick! Or that all providers will embrace it to the depth that it can go. If you are looking for an advocate to help you and your loved one gain a more active role in the health care team, give us a call at 973-627-4087. We are the north New Jersey experts in aging well and know how to leverage the health care system to meet individualized goals.