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Author of news post
Hayley Studer
February 26, 2021

Front Health Welcomes New Consultant Manager

Brandon Balogh joins team to advance patient-centered care

As Front Health continues to provide insights and strategy to reach success in value-based care, the team is excited to welcome Consultant Manager, Brandon Balogh. Brandon will lead client engagements, qualitative and quantitative analysis, synthesize issues, and provide recommendations to guide clients from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare.

“The addition of Brandon to our team opens the door for even further opportunity for both Front Health and for our clients,” says Hayley Studer, Executive Director. “Brandon’s extensive background as a data analyst packaged with his passion for community impact and patient-centric care make him the perfect fit for this role. We are excited to have him on our team.”

Before joining the Front Health team, Brandon was an Operations Analyst for PopHealthCare, LLC in Franklin, TN. The experience from his previous positions along with his desire to make an impact in his community through social programs informed by data analytics are just a few key elements that Brandon brings to the table to lead Front Health’s clients to success.

“I believe that patient-centered care is the future of healthcare and Front Health provides the insights needed to ensure success in the value-based care arena,” says Brandon. “Knowing that the information I provide can help improve patient care is my motivating factor in this new role, and I’m looking forward to providing insights and recommendations to guide our healthcare clients towards value-based care.”

As an Ohio State University alumnus, Brandon is excited to join the Columbus-based healthcare collaborative and looks forward to making new memories with his wife, April, and their two daughters, Mia and Jane, in the buckeye state.

About Front Health

Front Health accelerates success by providing insights and strategy healthcare organizations can act upon. Born out of a health system collaborative focused on transforming care across six of the largest health systems in Ohio, Front Health now serves leading healthcare organizations across the country, both those that pay for and deliver care. Together with your team, we uncover what drives your organization’s performance in at-risk contracts and connect the dots to help you develop the best strategy and capabilities to get – and stay – in front of opportunities. To learn more about Front Health, visit www.fronthealth.com.

Author of news post
Gregory Long, MD
Chief Medical Officer
April 13, 2021

Why Value-Based Care Must Thrive Through This Pandemic

Referring to COVID-19 as the “100-year pandemic,” as if to suggest we should, in some small way, feel fortunate it doesn’t happen more often, does little to lessen the devastation and disruption it has left in its wake while enveloping the world. Although there are now signs of slowing, the pandemic has exposed beyond a doubt the weaknesses of fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement that U.S. healthcare is so dependent upon.  The level of disruption has thrown off the delicate balance between profitable FFS activities and revenue-anemic inpatient admissions, especially the ultra-expensive intensive care unit (ICU) stays. Layer in the added cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, physical capacity expansion, and staff resource support, the entire care infrastructure has been overwhelmed physically, emotionally, and financially. The human toll has been immense, not only on direct lives lost to date [and continuing to rise], but to the future impact on the survivors, the families, the front-line providers, and the millions of patients who have foregone care.  Financially, based on conservative, early pandemic estimates, healthcare systems will have lost nearly half a trillion dollars by the end of 2020 leading to tens of thousands of “less critical” workers being furloughed, and hospitals closing or declaring bankruptcy. There are many systemic healthcare lessons being written about this pandemic, but the one that requires a remedy from our collective wherewithal is how we prevent this from happening again.

Fortunately, there have also been many positive learnings that have emerged from the pandemic, including the rapid movement to [and payment for] certain value-based care delivery processes, e.g., virtual visits, which may well serve as the initial inoculations necessary to avert a similar fate down the road.  Further evolution of these and other care delivery and payment innovations should remain a priority, both out of current necessity as well as future preparedness in the eventual move toward less and less reliance on FFS reimbursement.  As difficult as it may feel, now is the time to capitalize on the tools and capabilities that will inevitably help us succeed in value-based care.  In a not-too-distant world where the focus of healthcare gradually moves away from high-cost hospital centricity and more appropriately onto the shoulders of ambulatory and post-acute care, we must take advantage of current positive population health financial returns and be the drivers of future pay-for-outcomes models that will eventually sustain an appropriately scaled healthcare system.  

Here are a few examples:  

  • Reach out to Medicare FFS and Medicare Advantage patients to complete their Annual Wellness Visits (AWV) and appropriate follow up services
  • Create office processes to ensure appropriate coding and documentation to garner deserving financial credit for the sickest patients that require more care intensity
  • Dedicate a team member to ensure quality and satisfaction pay-for-performance measures are at or above contractual targets
  • Initiate or expand the team’s care navigation skills to stratify patients, and manage high complexity patients at financial risk
  • Maintain or expand an appropriate level of telephone and video visits yielding to patients’ preferences and conditions
  • Lead payer contract negotiations toward risk arrangements where you’ve created effective population health capabilities, e.g., care navigation, appropriate use best practices

While these initial value-based care steps may not seem transformative, they can enhance revenue with little investment and achieve better outcomes for patients.  Over time, bolder steps in care delivery will be needed, in collaboration with payers, moving progressively toward more downside risk.  With this experience, providers will be more confident in aligning terms of payer contracts that will ensure their own financial success.