Blog: A Look into the Transition to Value in the Atlanta Market

Atlanta healthcare executives discuss fee-for-value

Ross Armstrong
Senior Vice President and Head of Market, Lumeris

The number of healthcare organizations transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based care is rapidly increasing in the United States. This growth and evolution has changed the healthcare landscape and strategy for years to come.

I recently had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion with Atlanta’s foremost healthcare executives about value-based care and how they are making that transformation within their organizations. We discussed the elements needed to bring more value to the Atlanta market and how to create a cohesive and integrated patient experience.

Panelists included Val Akopov, M.D., senior vice president and co-president, WellStar Medical Group, chair, WellStar Health Network; Kevin Brown, president and CEO, Piedmont Healthcare; Patrick Hammond, M.D., CEO, Emory Healthcare Network, chief market services officer, Emory Healthcare Inc.; and John M. Haupert, president and CEO, Grady Health System.

There were three conclusions I took from this discussion.

1. The transition to value is woven throughout their strategies.

No matter where each Atlanta healthcare organization fell on their path to value-based care, one thing was clear: the transition to value is one they are all taking – and they’re taking it seriously. Value is where each organization is headed and is woven within their key strategic plans and core values. These organizations are looking to become leaders in the market, while providing the best care possible for patients at a lower cost with an improved outcome. The shift to proactively manage a population is a big change, but one they are all willing to take. Some have had their missteps and they are not all moving at the same speed, but all are continuing to advance their capabilities.

2. The impact of the market forces in the move to value in Atlanta.

The Atlanta market isn’t at the vanguard of the move to value, but it isn’t at a slow crawl either. The robust population growth in Atlanta has mitigated the burning platform for change as provider organizations have not felt the impact of decreased utilization. Other factors include: market consolidation has been a priority that has occupied many of the local health systems, the shortage of primary care physicians makes managing patient populations more difficult, and the payers are not driving change like in some other markets.

3. The results of the recent presidential election have not deterred their move to value.

This statement rang true for each healthcare organization: Patients come first, no matter what. The election doesn’t change many things for their organizations, they say. Unsustainable health costs and inconsistent quality of outcomes are things that need to be addressed and fixed regardless of who is in office. Moving to value-based care is important to these organizations – as it has become a part of both their mission and strategy.

To learn more of what the Atlanta healthcare leaders discussed, view the entire panel discussion here.