Are you doing something that seems impossible? If so, there are a lot of movies to draw inspiration from — including The Vault, a 2021 film that is streaming on Netflix right now. It is about opening the world’s most secure vault, hidden under the Bank of Spain, that holds a legendary lost treasure. We admit that we watched almost the entire film thinking that the master thief (played by Irish actor Liam Cunningham, best known for his role in Game of Thrones) was the actor who played King Théodon in Lord of the Rings (Bernard Hill — who was also the Captain of the Titanic). The likeness of Mr. Hill and Mr. Cunningham is uncanny — so it seemed impossible to grasp that they are, in fact, two different actors with basically the same face. We explain what else seems impossible in the health care policy arena in the One Thoughtful Paragraph below.
Is achieving value-based care impossible? It has been a rocky road so far, for sure (see here, here, here). But if value-based care is actually impossible, then how do you explain the stunning number of entities who are spending lots of money and time trying to do it? There are so many people that believe in the goal of value-based care — the shift from fee-for-service to incentivizing high-quality, cost-efficient care — and everyone seems to agree that it is not possible without the right technology and data. Rock Health just published a value-based care guide, saying that payers need to make adjustments to their tech stack, analytics, and data exchange to make value-based care work. The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations (NAACO) released a report calling on CMS to be really thoughtful about requiring digital quality reporting, one of the keys to rewarding providers for offering value-based care. Three other recent reports pile on — one from the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, another from Humana and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and yet another other from the Chartis Group. In The Vault movie, the master thief explains to his team that they need new thinking and hires a non-thief, engineering prodigy out of grad school to accomplish the impossible and break into the impenetrable vault. Maybe the healthcare industry needs a prodigy to help crack the impenetrable value-based care model. In real life, one of the most popular costumes for Halloween this year is a dinosaur — which is exactly what fee-for-service is — not a good sign. To be fair, you probably get less candy if you dress up as a value-based care prodigy.