Value-based payment flaws

While CMS has a target of getting 100% of Medicare beneficiaries into value-based payment (VBP) programs–such as accountable care organizations–by the end of the decade, implementing VBP in practice will be challenging. An editorial by Navathe et al. (2024) in Health Affairs provides some key considerations. Providers forego certain revenue for uncertain ‘bonus’ payments. “One…

Challenges facing the accountable care organization (ACO) system

An interesting article in Modern Healthcare reviews some discussion at a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) meeting. The first issue is that the pool of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries is shrinking, at least on a relative basis. As Medicare Advantage grows each year, population-based alternative payment models like accountable care organizations are left with a…

90% of health plans think the use of alternative payment models will increase in the coming years

A recent report from the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (HCP LAN) examines how providers are getting paid in the U.S. today.  Traditionally, health care providers (e.g., physicians, hospitals) were paid via fee-for-service (FFS).  Fee-for-service means that every time a provider does a service, they get paid.  This is truly largely regardless of…

Does episode-based payment reduce cost?

That is the question that Carroll and co-authors try to answer in their latest NBER working paper (WP #23926).  They examine the Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative (APII), which is a state-wide, multi-payer episode-based program.  Unlike most episode-based payment (EBP) models, provider participation  in the program was mandatory (as of 2013).  NBER summarizes the program…