Your dining program is just one piece of what makes your community a wonderful place for your staff, residents, and their families. It also provides a great opportunity for your facility to show value and get rewarded from a value-based reimbursement program. With value-based programs, healthcare providers get incentive payments for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare. These programs exist because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are working to change “how healthcare is delivered and paid for.”
Value-based programs also support the healthcare industry’s triple aim. This includes improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.
By making a few changes to your dining program, you can start getting rewarded through these programs and create a better experience for residents. Here’s how you can use your food service operations to contribute to a value-based reimbursement payment model.
The two value-based programs
CMS has two value-based programs that communities like yours might participate in. The first one is the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. It rewards acute care hospitals for the quality of care they give to those with Medicare. By offering incentives, this program hopes to make the quality of care better for patients and improve the experience of staying at a hospital. The CMS states that the program encourages facilities to improve care quality by doing the following:
- Eliminating or reducing adverse events.
- Adopting evidence-based care standards and protocols that make the best outcomes for the most patients.
- Changing hospital processes to make patients’ care experiences better.
- Increasing care transparency for consumers.
- Recognizing hospitals that give high-quality care at a lower cost to Medicare.
The second value-based program is the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program. This program rewards skilled nursing facilities for the quality of care they give to people with Medicare, with a focus on reducing hospital readmissions for these patients. This program aims to reward facilities for the quality of care they give to their patients rather than the quantity.
While these two value-based programs are geared toward people with Medicare, following their principles will provide a better experience for everyone at your facility.
Incorporating healthcare’s triple aim
Both value-based programs above help support the healthcare industry’s triple aim. And your dining program can be a way to meet the requirements of those programs while also supporting the three pillars of the aim. To create a dining program that meets all three aspects, we recommend directing your food service team to focus on the following:
- Improving the patient experience of care
This is all about creating a person-centered dining experience for your residents. Culinary Services Group does this at the facilities we work with by serving high quality, tasty, nutritious food, but also by providing exceptional hospitality. All of our chefs are encouraged to do “table touches” after every service. This means that the chef will go up to each table and ask the residents how their meal was and solicit any other feedback. This creates a more social dining environment and shows residents you care about their feedback.
- Improving the health of populations
It’s simple. Better food means better food intake. When your residents are enjoying their meals, they’re going to eat more of it and be excited about it. And when they have better food intake, this leads to better nutrition which leads to better overall physical, social, and mental health. In order to support an overall wellness strategy, we recommend implementing liberalized diets at your facility. With a liberalized diet, Rather than creating a meal plan for your residents based on their health conditions, you would also consider their overall health goals and food preferences. At Culinary Services Group, our team meets with each and every resident and learns their food likes and dislikes. Our team of experts then uses this data to develop a menu at your facility using real, fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
- Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare
The team at Culinary Services Group are experts when it comes to reducing costs. We recruit and hire the best of the best. We also train and manage staff at the facilities we work with, cut down on waste, and ensure the highest quality ingredients for the best price. Plus, the liberalized diet strategy we mentioned above can save costs in the long run due to decreased supplement use, and it can also decrease overall healthcare costs.
How will you increase value?
Your dining program can be a large part of how your facility shows that you offer a higher quality of care to your residents. But changing your food service program to a more value-based, person-centered care environment focus takes work. You’ll need to learn more about your residents’ preferences, create new menus, and change the culture of your team.
This is a much easier task to accomplish by bringing on an expert partner. Culinary Services Group can improve outcomes, manage costs, and provide a better dining experience for your entire community. Our programs easily integrate into your facility’s culture and operations to make your employees’ jobs easier and your residents’ lives better. We run a full-service dining program that meets nutritional needs so your team can spend more time on core competencies and so your customers can focus on living well, being well, and eating well.
Let us help you build more value at your facility (and get rewarded for doing it!). Contact us here to get started.