Physician Practices Seek Help in Transition to Value-Based Care

Healthcare Dive (05/23/18) Masterson, Les

A new Black Book Research report indicates that physicians not affiliated with hospitals are increasingly turning to consulting firms to help them move into value-based care and accountable care organizations (ACOs). The survey of nearly 900 physician organizations showed that 68 percent of group practices of 10 or more doctors said they will seek "external advisement on financially and clinically transforming their operations" within the next year. The report also found physicians are moving more toward independent and physician-led group practices after a six-year trend of hospital-employed physicians. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has eased certain burdens for small practices, but it still seeks to implement MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) in 2019. CMS also decided not to require smaller practices to take part in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, but large systems have voiced similar concerns about MACRA's demands. Doug Brown, founder of Black Book Research, says physicians not affiliated with hospitals anticipate long-term savings in physician-led ACOs, but many physician organizations lack well-defined plans for alternative payment models or for reaching date-sensitive financial thresholds. As a result, they are turning to value-based care consultants for help, he notes.

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