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Providers focus on adding nurses, expanding outpatient care

The pandemic has certainly increased providers’ appetites for value-based contracting. Three-quarters of survey respondents said they plan to take on more value-based contracts as a result of the crisis.

Early on in the pandemic, it became clear that health plans offered a financial buffer for health systems because they generated steady income from premiums even as revenue from surgeries and other patient-care services plummeted. Moreover, value-based contracts, which take many forms but effectively pay providers to keep patients healthy rather than based on the number of services they provide, emerged as sensible solutions during times of uncertainty.

Atlantic Health’s value-based strategy was its “saving grace” during the pandemic, Gragnolati said. The health system’s contract with Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey features downside risk, which requires having the ability to marry claims and clinical data.

“That gives you a base of data analytics that’s spectacular,” he said.

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