Our expert answers 3 Questions
I am thinking about how payment to health care providers can be changed to encourage high value care. Value-based payment programs are now widespread in U.S. healthcare, but we have little idea if these programs work. We also don’t know how these programs should be structured to be more effective and to minimize unintended consequences. What measures should be used to assess quality and cost in these programs? What should be the criteria for bonuses or penalties? How large should financial incentives be? Should individual physicians, physicians groups, or larger accountable groups be targeted by financial incentives?
To inform evidence-based policy, we need to understand these issues, and to understand successes and failures of current value-based payment programs. To better design these programs, we also need to understand how providers understand, internalize, and respond to financial incentives.
Changing how we pay health care providers remains one of our key levers to improve the value of U.S. healthcare. It’s important to figure out how to do it right.