Yampa Valley Medical Center unveils strategic plan
Steamboat Springs — Yampa Valley Medical Center patients could see lower prices and more streamlined medical care under a new strategic plan unveiled by the hospital this week.
Ten months in the making, the plan includes a strategy for YVMC to partner with a Front Range hospital system that would provide services YVMC does not, including significant trauma care, invasive cardiology or neurological injury care.
The new plan emphasizes the need for more partnerships between YVMC and other care providers locally, regionally and nationally, with various providers communicating to provide a better experience for patients, according to hospital leaders.
“We want to keep patients here locally as much as we can,” said YVMC Chief Financial Officer Bryan Roach. “We also realize there’s things we’re not able to do.”
Under the plan, patients would be referred to the Front Range hospital system partner, which could simplify the sharing of medical records, coordination of insurance and other benefits to patients, according to hospital CEO Frank May.
“The whole point of this is really what we can do better for our patients,” May said.
Patients would retain the freedom to choose another medical provider, but the partnership would provide a structured relationship that could benefit patients, May said.
There would be no financial relationship between YVMC and the partner hospital system related to the referrals.
May said the hospital’s board of trustees, executive team and medical and hospital staff hope to identify the Front Range partner within the next six months.
In addition to patients saving money by ideally remaining within their insurance network under the partnership, YVMC is also working to study in-house costs of common services that could be reduced.
Roach said the hospital is aware that patients sometimes shop around and travel to the Front Range for some services, and the hospital is hopeful that a new cost structure would keep more care local.
“If we can lower our costs, we can pass that on to the patients,” Roach said.
Roach said the community should expect an announcement of some price reductions later this summer.
The goals and priorities outlined in the strategic plan are driven by the “Triple Aim Approach,” a national strategic framework developed by the Institute of Health Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and used by other hospitals across the country.
The three-pronged approach is to improve the health of individuals, improve the health of the community and improve the value of healthcare.
Under the approach, YVMC has set goals to invest in people and technology, provide safe and high quality healthcare, achieve operational and service excellence and drive growth and collaboration.
In addition to growing an integrated network of providers, YVMC’s strategic priorities include continuing to work at being a high reliability organization — through quality patient care and high safety standards — and to strengthen the relationship of the hospital with physicians and medical staff, in part by actively including them in strategic planning.
“We’re really excited about the possibilities of doing all this,” May said.
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