But who will win and who will lose may not be clear yet. An organization must not be lulled into complacency by its recent data, warns Mark A. Bogen, CPA, vice president of finance at 390-staffed-bed South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, NY. Assuming all hospitals are readying themselves for VBP, maintaining a position similar to the historic scoring may not produce the same results. He points out that approximately $500 million is being made available to hospitals currently in the lowest quartile to assist them in making the appropriate infrastructure investments. “Therefore,” Bogen explains, “there will be a lot of jockeying for position, as no one wants to finish at the bottom.”
CFOs and the finance team must take an active role in preparing for VBP. The finance leadership team has a chance to partner with their clinical counterparts in the service of a common goal, Nelson says. Get involved now, he advises. “I think the most important advice for finance and leadership teams is to get a seat at the table.”
VBP demands more active management from the C-suite and the board, says Ladely.
Determine what statistics the incentives will be based on, focus on those numbers now under the current Inpatient Quality Reporting program, and track how they compare with others in your peer group, he counsels.
“The CFO needs to develop working relationships with the chief medical officer and the chief nursing officer to ensure they are focused on that,” he says.
Education is going to be essential to VBP success, Ladely notes. “Educate your staff and your peer group as to the impact this could have on operations.” In the past, CMS’ focus has been “equally on doing it and documenting it,” he says. Currently, under CMS’ IQR program, penalties are imposed only for not reporting. Soon, the penalties will be for not achieving.