Catalyst for Payment Reform

About Us

Our Mission

We are a small nonprofit committed to big changes in the health care system.

Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) is an independent, nonprofit corporation with the mission to catalyze employers, public purchasers, policy makers, and others to implement strategies that produce affordable, high quality health care and improve the functioning of the health care marketplace.

In the one dozen years since CPR launched, we have successfully catalyzed the payment reform movement as well as much greater transparency into healthcare prices. We have shined a light on growing provider market power and the need to address rising commercial healthcare prices and the affordability of care. We have helped myriad healthcare purchasers push for better value from the healthcare system and have educated policymakers about how they can improve the functioning of healthcare markets.

As a mission-driven organization, we are committed to providing the bulk of our resources to employers and health care purchasers for free, as their willingness to be catalysts is critical to our successCreate your employer-purchaser account here.

Catalyst for Payment Reform is a 501(c)(3) organization that is funded through foundations, membership dues, and revenue generated from commissioned and contract work as well as the sale of CPR products and services.

CPR's Vision

CPR envisions a health care system in which employers, other health care purchasers, and consumers can reliably obtain affordable, high-quality health care.

How CPR is Different
To realize this vision, CPR pushes the market in foundational ways on behalf of its members and other employers and health care purchasers. We make what is previously thought of as “radical” and “unthinkable” in health care “normal” and even “expected,” taking concepts like provider payment reform and price transparency from fringe to mainstream.

To accomplish this, CPR:

  • Takes on issues that other coalitions do not and catalyzes progress, such as creating the first ever national scorecard on payment reform and report card on state price transparency laws. These initiatives highlighted slow progress on payment reform and the need for action. CPR stays at the center of these key issues, such as by serving as an advisor, data collector and analyst for the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network and in providing comment and testimony on health regulatory issues.
  • Fights actively against the negative impacts of health plan and provider consolidation and market power. We have done this in key antitrust cases against dominant health care providers by working actively to write legal briefs and provide subject matter expertise in relevant litigation and by raising awareness about the effect of provider market consolidation.
  • Pivots to regulation where the marketplace fails. CPR identified unit price as one of the most important challenges facing purchasers and recognizes that purchasers are an untapped resource when it comes to pushing for fundamental and significant change in policy. CPR has developed new policy strategies and will seek opportunities for states to bring downward pressure to commercial health care prices and to rebalance market power.
  • Developed a state policy roadmap to educate and engage purchasers to support state regulation that limit prices and total health care costs. Such policies include limits on hospital facility fees and requirements for price transparency.
  • Has a unique ability to convene the nation’s leading experts and thought leaders to develop new solutions to pressing challenges in the operation and oversight of health care markets.

CPR's Values

We represent the perspectives of employers, public purchasers, and their covered beneficiaries. Employers and public purchasers finance most health care costs in this country, and the health system should address their interests.

We value independence and objectivity. We avoid conflicts of interest and produce objective, fact-based content and research.

We value and champion transparency. Those who use and pay for care deserve access to meaningful information, including data about health care prices and costs, quality of care, and health disparities.

We advance health equity by helping health care purchasers and their partners reduce health disparities through benefit and network design, delivery reform, and payment reform.

We fight consolidation and the imbalance of market power in the health care industry that drives indefensibly high prices, stifles competition, and harms purchasers and consumers.

We amplify the collective voice of purchasers so that the health care industry responds to their needs and those of their health plan participants.

We educate stakeholders including purchasers, health plans, providers, consumers, and policy makers on state and federal policies that strengthen purchasers’ and consumers’ ability to buy high-value care.

We ‘Go Big,” believing that the changes needed in health care require bold, courageous action.

Our Core Beliefs

All of our work is governed by our core beliefs.

A small group of empowered purchasers can change the system. We are committed to finding ways for purchasers to learn from each other and work together to advance our shared agenda.

Consistent signals to the market will catalyze change faster. We help purchasers know what to ask of health plans and other stakeholders and give them the tools they need to do it.

We need to track progress and hold the market accountable. We know progress relies on objective measurement. We will continue to collect data and conduct meaningful analysis on how our health care system is functioning.

Our health care system will continue to evolve, creating new challenge and opportunities. We don’t expect things to change overnight. We’re small, flexible, and committed to improving the system however we can.

Our Story

CPR was born out of the idea that together, employers could make a difference.

In the 2000’s, the US health care system was in crisis. With costs rising and quality lagging, employers were taking on a larger proportion of the cost despite the fact that they had almost no transparency into the health care market.

In 2009, CPR was founded to promote a paradigm shift based on two core beliefs:

  1. The way we pay for health care in the U.S. needs to change from volume-based to value-based.
  2. Employers and other purchasers have a unique ability to use their leverage to push for big changes to the health care system.

These ideas laid the groundwork for CPR, which initially focused on catalyzing payment reform by coordinating among large, progressive purchasers eager to push the market together.

Over the course of our history, CPR’s focus has expanded to include other topics and strategies critical to helping employers achieve higher value, including benefit design, price transparency, behavioral health, telehealth, and specialty pharmacy.

Listen in to CPR’s former Executive Director, Suzanne Delbanco, asking Bob Galvin why he founded CPR

CPR’s Lifetime Impact Report

Since our inception over ten years ago, we at CPR have moved the market towards accessibility, affordability and equity.

In this new report, we leverage the concept of the Overton Window, taking what’s important for purchasers from fringe to mainstream – from unthinkable to expected.

Submit the form to download the report: