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Ochsner Health neuropsychologist publishes playbook on implementing value-based dementia care

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Catalyst recently published an article by Ochsner Health neuropsychologist R. John Sawyer, PhD along with Ashley LaRoche, CCRC, Sakshi Sharma, MS and Carolina Pereira-Osorio, MS. Making the Business Case for Value-Based Dementia Care is an in-depth look at the critical need for value-based care models for patients with dementia and their caregivers.

According to the article, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRDs) are continuing to grow at an exponential rate, with estimates of over 13 million Americans affected by 2050. Clinical program growth is critical in the coming years; however, there is still insufficient funding, poor access to care, and other barriers to this growth according to the authors.

"The objective of this article is to argue for a move from a fee-for-service payment model to a value-based care model, which is a key component for growing and improving dementia care programs for health systems," said lead author Dr. John Sawyer, PhD. "Using financial data and care models from the Ochsner Center for Brain Health, we aim to share our experiences to assist other health systems in building a business case for expanding their own dementia programs."

The research team worked with many institutional stakeholders--department and service line leaders, population health and accountable care programs, data tracking and analytics, financial/planning, and care management—to develop an understanding of value-based care alignment and the impact on dementia care. The article states that with five years of data tracking, the team can illustrate both financial value and clinical importance for expanding dementia care programs.

This article is designed to act as a playbook for other health systems as they examine their own dementia care programs. The need for dementia care resources will continue to grow over the coming years, making it vital for health systems to expand and transform dementia care for patients and caregivers. The authors of this article offer guidance on strategies and tactics for refining program design and measuring financial metrics within other health systems.

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