- Providers throughout the U.S. are inching toward value-based care, but many barriers to full adoption persist, a new survey by Definitive Healthcare concluded.
- Staffing shortages and lack of other resources have been the largest obstacle, according to the healthcare executives surveyed. Gaps in interoperability, an unpredictable revenue stream and the financial risk in value-based care initiatives were also noted as obstacles.
- More incentive payments would contribute toward swifter adoption, respondents said.
Value-based care (VBC) has been touted as a way to cut costs and improve healthcare delivery for the better part of a decade. And it's making inroads, but only in fits and starts. That's the conclusion of a new survey by Massachusetts-based Definitive Healthcare. It polled 1,090 executives in the provider, biotech, financial services, consulting and other related industries.
Many of the respondents are optimistic VBC can improve the overall state of healthcare. If properly implemented, VBC can reduce medical errors and lead to better patient outcomes, 48% said. And 28.4% said it can reduce overall healthcare costs.
However, those respondents illustrate an uncertain state in which many providers still lack resources — such as staff and sophisticated EHRs — to make a full transition to VBC. Moreover, survey respondents say there's an ongoing tug-of-war between traditional and newer means of reimbursement.
"We are in a transition period. Tough to implement when [an] organization is 30% value-based care [and] 70% fee-for-service," one respondent said.
To better accelerate the adoption of VBC, nearly 45% of respondents surveyed said more money needs to be put into the game in the form of additional compensation and incentives and ground rules about when extra payments can be doled out must be made clear.
"Under the current system, providers can opt into value-based purchasing initiatives, receiving bonuses for performing above average and being penalized for performing below average," Definitive Healthcare said. "[M]ore clarity may be needed to entice providers to jump on board the VBC train," it added.
But the survey also indicated providers may soon have little choice in the matter regarding whether they join a VBC initiative. A total of 28% of respondents said CMS will move more VBC initiatives from voluntary to mandatory. And 31% said accountable care organizations and bundled payment initiatives will continue to evolve to be more effective and attractive to providers.
"Any major shift in behavior or practice in healthcare has required regulatory incentives focused on tightening reimbursement," one respondent said. "VBC could have been instituted decades ago — yet only CMS reimbursement policy has driven the program forward."