The Journey to Value Based Care: Three Takeaways from Highway to Health’s Podcast

value-based care highway to health podcast with brook west and christoph dankert

Recently, Carrum Health’s Chief Commercial Officer, Brook West, and Chief Network Officer, Christoph Dankert, joined David Kemp on MarketScale’s podcast Highway to Health to discuss the importance of value-based care and our mission to revolutionize healthcare delivery.

Here are three takeaways from the episode:

1. The number one barrier to care

One of the biggest hurdles to accessing care at all—let alone high-quality care—is the price tag. Intimidated by the fees and concerned they won’t be able to pay them, many patients often delay or completely forgo care.

“If cost is a concern, and something isn’t life-threatening, there’s a good chance they’ll push off [the care] to avoid the cost,” says Brook. “But that can lead to all sorts of downstream risks for your life.”

Carrum’s value-based care approach has found a way to deliver high-quality care while eliminating many of these cost concerns for patients.

2. Not all care is necessary—yet it’s still happening

Unnecessary surgeries are more common than we think, often driven by the traditional fee-for-service model that rewards quantity over quality (as opposed to value-based care models, which reward outcomes instead of volume of services rendered). And this unnecessary care is happening across the board, not just with musculoskeletal surgeries.

Carrum Health partners with facilities and providers that focus on providing only the most appropriate care. As a result, we’ve directed at least 30% of our patients to less-invasive care (e.g., physical therapy instead of a spinal fusion), resulting in a better experience for the patient and lower costs for both the patient and their employer.

“I don’t think patients have an awareness that unnecessary surgeries are happening,” says Brook. She believes that is largely because, in the United States, there tends to be a culture of blind trust between patients and their providers. “We trust our docs, we trust that procedures or surgeries are medically necessary. If [a patient] is told they need to have this surgery, they’re probably going to do it.”

3. What makes a good center of excellence?

The term center of excellence (COE) is used a lot in healthcare, but it’s important to note that not all centers of excellence are the same. Carrum defines a center of excellence as more than just a collection of skilled physicians (though that’s an important component).

Rather, a true center of excellence is a combination of the physicians, the care team, the facility, the pre-operative and post-operative processes, and so forth. Carrum Health is highly selective in choosing COEs— we prioritize experience, patient outcomes, and a commitment to providing appropriate care and minimizing harm.

We want to find physicians and facilities that “avoid complications as much as possible and have also shown that their patients actually get better,” says Christoph.

Listen to the whole episode to hear more about Carrum’s value based care approach:


The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.