Osteopathic physicians, by virtue of their training, are perfectly poised for the coming value-based payment system. That is one of the messages Saturday’s Northup lecturer will stress in her talk “Bringing Osteopathy into the 21st Century.”
Lisa Ann DeStefano, DO, C-NMM/OMM, is this year’s American Academy of Osteopathy Thomas L. Northup Lecturer. She is chairperson and professor, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Northup Lecture takes place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Saturday in Room 6B, second floor of the convention center.
“I am trying to encourage osteopathic physicians to see that we’re ready. By teaching our students osteopathic principles, by looking at a functional model rather than a disease model, that our students really are in a pretty good position,” said Dr. DeStefano.
MACRA, which incentivizes value over volume, takes effect in 2019. In light of this, Dr. DeStefano will discuss the implications of value-based medicine models on clinical care, patient research, and medical education.
“Physicians will flourish under the value-based medicine delivery system if they can demonstrate high patient outcomes at lower cost. I believe that osteopathic physicians are perfectly poised to enter the challenging health care delivery system in the future,” she said. “I hope physicians will walk away with encouragement to focus on the basic tenets of osteopathy as a means to increase value in patient care.”
Dr. DeStefano noted that the current system’s focus on volume means more testing or offering of referrals because there isn’t time to do comprehensive physical examinations. A value-based model discourages overtesting, she said, because instead of ordering an MRI, for example, osteopathic physicians can treat patients using hands-on modalities or look at ways to decrease costs, like focusing on diet, exercise, patient well-being, and reducing stress and anxiety.
“These are all things that osteopathic medicine is poised to do including looking at disease as a continuum rather than just looking at the chief complaint as a disease,” she said.
She will also talk about how the new value-based system has implications in how medical students and residents are trained.
“If you look at the MD schools they actually are implementing Health Systems Science, so basically they’re going to talk about patient safety and quality improvement evidence-based medicine, value in health care, interprofessional teamwork, stewardship of health care resources, population management, clinical informatics, care coordination, leadership and health care financing and reform,” she said.
However, she noted that DOs should be able to fit into this model pretty easily.
“You’ve already been taught how to practice value-based medicine. You just haven’t been allowed to do that because of the volume,” she said. “We’ll probably be better off helping our patients to understand they don’t need that MRI. And they don’t need that referral because we can just manage this by looking at a couple of things, by doing a physical examination and giving patients more assurance rather than a pill.”