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The Path to Value Takes Committment

Many physician practices in value-based care arrangements are looking to position themselves for long-term sustainability and growth in the value-based space.

So how are they making that a reality? They are investing significantly in staff and technology, a new study reveals. The report, published by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and commissioned in partnership with Humana, looked at how practices of varying size develop the infrastructure necessary for success in value-based care.

For Coastal Carolina Health Care, a multi-specialty group that employs 45 physicians (30 of whom focus on primary care), the investments have paid off.

According to CEO Stephen Nuckolls, the group’s 19 locations across the New Bern, NC area have experienced over the last 7 years shared savings with payers, increasing patient satisfaction, and drops of nearly 25% and almost 10% in hospitalizations and emergency room visits, respectively, among Medicare patients. Coastal Carolina cares for roughly 13,500 patients, including around 800 Humana members. Building and solidifying the necessary infrastructure occurred not all at once for Coastal Carolina, but gradually over time.

Nuckolls figured that to keep making progress takes annual investments in equipment, software upgrades, staff and training. “Change is never easy,” Nuckolls said. “It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.”