Accelerating the Value-Based Payment Transition Top HHS Priority

RevCycle Intelligence (03/06/18) Belliveau, Jacqueline

Speaking at the Federation of American Hospitals' annual Public Policy Conference in Washington D.C., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said the agency is focusing on the transition to value-based payment transition. As of this year, however, just 18 percent of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program transitioned to curb financial risk tracks. HHS intends for new alternative payment models to motivate ACOs and other providers to assume downside financial risk, as well as reduce the quality burden reporting on providers. Furthermore, HHS plans to increase patient access to health information through interoperability and promoting price transparency. The healthcare industry can achieve HHS' goals of developing alternative payment models, reducing government burdens, improving interoperability and promoting price transparency by working together, according to Azar. He also emphasized that healthcare stakeholders, ranging from providers to patients, need to take part in a value-based marketplace that will drive innovation and competition, resulting in lower prices and better outcomes. "The key theme uniting these four priorities is the recognition that value is not accurately determined by arbitrary authorities or central planners. Each piece of our plan for value-based transformation recognizes this, and it's the main reason I am optimistic that we may have more success, and sooner, than past efforts," he said.

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