- At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the agency will meet their goal of moving 30% of fee-for-service Medicare payments to value-based payments by the end of 2016.
- Last year, when HHS announced their approach to move away from fee-for-services payments, they also set the goal of tying 50% of Medicare payments to alternative payment models by the end of 2018, according to a press release. Currently, at least 20% of payments are made through these models.
- Burwell also stated HHS is getting involved in solving the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. They have plans to have a team on the ground this week.
Burwell emphasized the importance of lowering cost of care and increasing pressure on quality at the meeting.
Last January, HHS announced a timeline to move the Medicare program and the entire U.S. healthcare system toward paying providers based on the quality of the care they give to patients as opposed to the quantity of care, known as fee-for-service.
ACA created various alternative payment models to reward quality of care, including accountable care organizations (ACOs) and new ways of bundling payments, in which healthcare providers have a financial incentive to arrange the best care for patients. In turn, patients are less likely to have unnecessary screenings and/or tests.
As of March 2015, some of the results on transforming healthcare delivery with alternative payment models include:
- Combined $417 million in savings for Medicare;
- Reduced hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly 8%; and
- Quality improvements that resulted in saving 50,000 lives and $12 billion in care spending from 2010 to 2013.
Goals in the timeline involved moving 30% of fee-for-service Medicare payments to value-based payments by the end of 2016 through the use of alternative payment models. This was the first time HHS had ever set explicit goals for alternative payment models and value-based payments.