Is Payment Reform Having a Positive Impact?

June 01, 2017

We’re going to find out.

If you’ve seen any of our Scorecards on Payment Reform, you know that CPR has a history of tracking our country’s progress on health care payment reform.

When CPR came into being in 2010, it was estimated that only 1-3% of provider payments were tied in some way to performance.  The push for change began.  Our first national Scorecard on Payment Reform in 2013 found that 11% of commercial payments were flowing through new payment methods and in 2014 that number jumped up to 40%.

In addition to change in the private sector, the Affordable Care Act has pushed the public sector forward by funding several pilot programs and experiments related to new payment models.  In 2015, then Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell set a national goal that 50% of Medicare dollars should flow through new payment methods by 2018.

We’ve lit the spark – so what’s next? Despite varying views on health care reform, CPR believes that the momentum for payment reform will not burn out anytime soon and will continue to spread across all market segments, which means measurement continues to be critical. That’s why CPR is launching Scorecard 2.0 with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

Moving beyond tracking the amount and types of payment reform taking root, our work will go further than previous efforts by identifying whether payment reform, as a whole, is having its intended large-scale effect on the quality, efficiency, and cost of health care. Scorecard 2.0 will achieve this by adding key quality, efficiency, and economic impact measures to our existing metrics, and by drawing from both health plan data and other sources.

Scorecard 2.0 will pair data about the quantity of payment reforms with indicators about how well the health care system is functioning. Are patients getting better care? Is quality improving?  We won’t be able to say with any certainty that payment reform is responsible for these changes, but we will be able to study how sweeping changes in our approach to provider payment correlate with CPR’s hand-selected key indicators of an evolving and improving health care system.

Scorecard 2.0 is set to launch this Fall with data collection in three states. If you’re interested in answering the question “Is payment reform having a positive impact in my state?” be sure to check out CPR’s Request for Proposal (RFP) and attend an Informational Session in mid-June for more details.  We anticipate releasing state results in the Summer of 2018. Stay tuned!

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