- HHS announced Thursday the administration had reached its goal of trying 30% of Medicare payments to alternative payment models that reward quality of care over quantity of services.
- More than 10 million Medicare patients will have more time with their doctors and better coordinated care, according to HHS.
- Before the ACA, none of the Medicare payments were made through alternative payment models. About 20% of payments were made through such models by 2014.
The administration released a timeline in January 2015 of its goals to tie the traditional fee-for-service Medicare payments to quality of care through alternative payment models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), and bundle payments for episodes of care. This was the first time it had ever set goals for alternative payment models and value-based payments.
During the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland this January, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said the agency was on track to meeting the goal of moving 30% of fee-for-service Medicare payments to value-based payments by the end of 2016, Healthcare Dive previously reported.
In order to estimate its progress toward the 2016 goal, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation multiplied the number of Medicare beneficiaries in alternative payment models by the expected cost of care. The resulting figure was then compared to the projected Medicare fee-for-service spending to conclude that "roughly $117 billion out of a projected $380 billion Medicare fee-for-service payments are tied to alternative payment models."
“We reached this goal in partnership with the thousands of providers who collaborated with us in innovation,” CMS Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway said in a prepared statement.
“It’s in our common interest – as patients, providers, businesses, health plans, taxpayers – to build a health care delivery system that delivers better care; spends health care dollars more wisely; and makes individuals and communities healthier,” Conway added.
The administration hopes to increase the percentage of payments tied to quality to 50% by the end of 2018. Through programs like the Hospital Value Based Purchasing and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Programs, the administration also wants to shift 85% of payments to quality by year's end, and 90% by 2018.
HHS also released a report Thursday, which shows that between 2010 and early 2016 20 million Americans have gained insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.