Will Medicare Advantage be the future of Alternative Payment Models

CMS has focused in recent years on payment reform–especially alternative payment models–in Medicare’s fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement system, but much less has been paid to beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare’s managed care program (i.e., Medicare Advantage).  Currently, however, more than 1 in 3 beneficiaries are enrolled in an Medicare Advantage plan, and by 2028 that number could…

Why do physician practices join value-based payment initiatives?

Are physicians ready for value-based payment? That is the question a recent paper by Markovitz et al. (2017) attempts to answer. This question is not hypothetical as the Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (MACRA) requires physicians to choose between the current fee-for-service structure under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or…

Medicare’s value-based purchasing fail?

Value-based payment is the latest hot topic.  One question remains, however, does it work?  Does paying for quality improve quality.  A study by Zuckerman et al. (2016) finds that the hospital readmissions reduction program (HRRP) did appear to reduce re-hospitalization rates among the targeted conditions. What about the hospital value-based purchasing program (HVBP).  Beginning in…

Can physician quality be captured by a single composite measure?

Value-based payment for providers is often predicated on being able to measure physician quality with a single composite measures.  For instance, Medicare’ s Value-Based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier) combines a variety of individual quality metrics across domains to create a single quality score.  Payment to physicians is adjusted based on a combination of physician quality…

Which value-based payment system is best?

Clearly, there is no single answer to this question and the answer depends on a number of factors including the market structure, provider responsiveness to intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, provider sample size, and the ability to accurately measure quality of care.  Douglas Conrad (2015) uses agency theory to provide an overview of existing value-based payment systems.  The…

Medicare Spending per Beneficiary

Medicare’s Hospital Compare website evaluates hospital quality.  One of the most recent measures to be added to Hospital Compare is a measure of efficiency.  The measure calculates a price-standardized, case-mix adjusted measure of spending during period before, during and after a hospital admission. The Healthcare Economist (Jason Shafrin) and a team at Acumen (including Tom…

How Health Reform will affect Hospital’s Business Strategy

For many years, fee for service payment was the status quo. FFS model encourages hospitals to adopt the following strategies to maximize market share and profits: Centered on short-term acute care Focused on specialist alignment Driven by a volume-based service-line strategy Using expensive medical equipment purchases to encourage physician referrals Attracting patients with new construction…