Catalyst for Payment Reform

Action Brief: Improving Fee-for-Service

Action Brief: Improving Fee-for-Service

This Action Brief on Improving Fee-for-service reviews the advantages and disadvantages of fee-for-service, the predominant payment model in the United States, and outlines strategies that could be used to improve the functioning of the overall health care market, including payment and delivery reforms.

CPR originally published the Improving Fee-For-Service Action Brief in summer 2017, and updated it with the latest research in Fall 2018.

Sections include: 

  • What is Fee-For-Service Payment?
  • What problems does fee-for-service payment try to solve?
  • How does fee-for-service payment work?
  • What are the advantages of fee-for-service payment?
  • What problems does fee-for-service payment produce?
  • How could we improve fee-for-service payment?
  • What steps can purchasers take toward improving fee-for-service payment?


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Interested in the history of fee-for-service? Listen in to Suzanne Delbanco’s conversation with Mai Pham, MD, former Vice President of Provider Alignment Solutions at Anthem Inc., all about the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.

Type: Action Brief



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