In November 2017, Dr. Paul Rao, PhD, CCC-SLP, visited Howard University and held a seminar about shifting from a volume- to value-based health care system and the importance of advocating for our professions.
Dr. Rao provided us with a quote from Michael Porter of Harvard University, “Value is measured by outputs, not inputs. Value in health care depends on actual patient outcomes, not the volume of services delivered. More care is not always better care, and shifting the focus from volume to value is a central challenge.”
Evidence-based, client-centered care is imperative for the treatment of individuals we serve. Every client we work with will be unique, even if his or her disorder or deficits are closely related to another. Performance and outcomes may follow a predictive path; however, it may not be one-size-fits-all.
Changes to Our Service Delivery Model
With upcoming changes to Medicare’s new payment model in 2019, there is a possibility that we, as skilled service providers, may see changes in service delivery based on nationwide quality reports.
Our future professions are dynamic, and we must adapt to changes in our society. Government agencies are looking to gain more control over policies that affect our professions and regulate our services. Therefore, it should be our priority to show that we are providing quality and competent treatment to individuals who require our services, and to advocate for them.
It is important for our professions to shift from volume- to value- health care in order to maintain our level of autonomy as it relates to service delivery.
Advocating for Our Future Professions
As student advocates and future professionals, we too can create changes. We must research current and upcoming issues, like Medicare’s new payment model, that will affect our professions and the populations we serve. The more we speak out, the more our issues are heard and understood.
Advocating Through Howard’s NSSLHA Chapter
Dr. Rao provided professional insight to the Howard University Chapter of NSSLHA, reinforcing the importance of learning about and advocating for issues that affect our professions.
At the end of the day, we must take the initiative to know and understand what the issues are. We need to synthesize the information, and make connections on how those issues will impact our roles, responsibilities, and the clients we serve.
This upcoming year, our NSSLHA Chapter is looking forward to becoming more actively involved in advocacy efforts. In our monthly email updates to Chapter members, we will share trending and key issues. We are also going to encourage virtual advocacy participation through ASHA’s Take Action website.
Because of technology, advocacy is easier than ever. The time to start taking action is now!