“He had a chronic condition, and didn’t have any family that I knew of,” says Ban, executive vice president and global chief medical officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “I think he just didn’t want to spend the holidays alone.”
At one point, Ban’s hospital entered a contract with an insurance company that operates like the value-based care payment model: healthcare providers get paid for the quality of care they provide instead of the quantity of services they provide.
This contract led to the creation of a “care team” for Ban’s patient: “A group of healthcare professionals who come together to figure out how we can connect with a patient and engage them to care more about their health.”
This patient’s care team included a social worker who paid him a visit at home and asked: “What would you have liked to have done with your life?” As it turns out, he always wanted to be a sports announcer.
“Most doctors will never ask a question they can't act on,” Ban admits. “I certainly wouldn't have known what to do with the answer.”
But the social worker knew what to do. She knew of a local youth baseball league needing an announcer and connected Ban’s patient with them. The social worker’s introduction ultimately led to the patient’s new job announcing children’s baseball games.
“He started taking all of his medicine regularly and stopped being routinely admitted to the hospital because he needed to be at the baseball field” Ban says. “So value-based care allows you a great deal of freedom and flexibility around the types of things you might do to take care of a person.”
So, how would value-based care work at Walgreens? Well, you may have heard about some of the healthcare companies in Walgreens Boots Alliance’s portfolio, like Village MD, CareCentrix and Shields Health Solutions. Imagine being cared for by a team of experts, and the pool of experts spans the breadth of these partnerships. And care teams will look different for every patient, depending on the specific needs of that patient. A care team might include, for example, a Walgreens pharmacist to help with medication therapy management, a VillageMD primary care physician and a home-health advisor to oversee in-home care.
This is what WBA is working toward.
"Value-based care allows providers to meet patients where they are, and to provide them with the services they need to achieve wellness,” Ban says.