Brown: There are challenges with the transparency and understanding of health care costs. How do we better understand health care costs and the unpredictability of hospital costs?
Paul Hopkins: It’s a conundrum. We’re getting a lot of calls about where health care is headed and how hospitals are going to be paid in the future. With the new value-based payment system, hospitals need to be able to become more riskcapable. This means taking on greater responsibility for the care of a defined patient population. Under a risk-capable payment model, providers are penalized or given a bonus for the quality of care they provide — and those payment models come in different forms. In the future, that transparency about the varying costs will become clearer as payments are made to treat an entire episode of care from start to finish. This puts hospitals and providers in riskier situations. So, at DHG Healthcare, we analyze the costs and help hospitals plan financially so as to not affect their bottom line.