In brief

In brief

  • Accenture has explored how the care delivery methods created during COVID-19 can become part of an optimized, hybrid care regimen.
  • With most in-person care visits on hold, use of virtual care services for acute care needs exploded. Can this trend become permanent?
  • Providers can increase efficiency, efficacy and humanize healthcare while providing care independent of traditional locations – but how, exactly?
  • Read the full report for a systematic three-step guide to identifying optimal care settings that realize the best location-flexible care for patient.

How can providers enable faster responses to competitive pressures and differentiate their healthcare organizations by offering healthcare where people want it? The first two steps are to define and reconfigure the specific parts of a healthcare service and productize them so they can be provided as single element or combined in new ways.

Reconfigure previously “carved-in-stone” healthcare

Organizations can identify and deliver parts of a patient’s care at alternative, cost-effective, patient-centered locations rather than at traditional, facility-based, provider- focused locations. For example, some parts of care currently combined with specialist in-person consultation could be delivered at a pharmacy or in the home (by a nurse if necessary)—integrated in the care plan but priced and provided separately (see a real-life example on page 9 of the full report). The arrangement would be more cost-effective and more convenient for both patient and doctor, ensuring that scarce skills are reserved for more important moments in the care journey.

Productized, affordable, optimized care delivery

Providers can reframe operating models with a product mindset. Productization of healthcare focuses on defining and offering patients - and their payers - a clear message that highlights the benefit of choosing to receive care in a particular fashion. Products and services will focus on health and safety, care that is personal, easy and convenient, offered by someone trustworthy, and care offered responsibly. For instance, as care is reconfigured, there is a benefit to different locations and approaches to care. Productized healthcare services can be sold as repeatable, commoditized products at a set price with specified benefits. These services can be then be reconfigured flexibly on a more personalized per-patient basis.

A three-step care location decision system

Efforts to reconfigure healthcare are a first step to empower patients to receive coordinated and appropriate care wherever they are. It is important to keep patients at the center of the care process when reconfiguring and consider the business case and the practical care delivery implications. Consider a three-step calculation process:

  1. Evaluate the required resources based on the patients´ clinical needs. To identify the optimal care delivery location and type, needs must be evaluated in terms of care intensity, required resources and care location. Leaders will assess and balance these three categories to identify appropriate care delivery settings.
  2. Evaluate the care-specific business case. Consider what’s financially preferable in terms of ability to deliver for a particular case, by taking into account employer-sponsored health plans and Medicare/Medicaid cost coverage for the patients care needs. Payer’s cost preferences will be balanced against a patient’s convenience and care preferences when deciding on the final care setting.
  3. Combine the results to plan the delivery. This is about synthesizing all stakeholder preferences and their associated impacts against the clinically appropriate care delivery settings, as described in step 1 and 2, to identify a single optimal hybrid setting made possible by a customized combination of care “products.” Keep in mind that customizable offerings are just tools—they will be deployed using a thoughtful strategy that intelligently personalizes and humanizes care.
Clinical care use cases: Appropriateness, Preferences and Choices

Flexible care delivery

Executing a flexible care delivery system empowers patients to receive care wherever they need it. That means providers, patients, payers, and ecosystem partners must be equipped with the necessary supporting capabilities, such as care delivery assets, data interoperability, patient and provider training mechanisms, and distribution networks. It’s time to put patients first, improve experiences and outcomes and set up a framework tailor-made for the purpose.

Brian Kalis

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy Lead, Health

Darryl Gibbings-Isaac

Principal Director – Consulting, Digital Health, North America

Greg Smith

Principal Director – Virtual Health Lead


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