Burwell: Tie More Medicare Pay to Quality and Value

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell today signaled a seismic leap — at least symbolically — away from traditional fee-for-service health care. In a blog posting, the secretary set an ambitious goal of having 30 percent of traditional Medicare payments be tied to an alternative payment model, such as bundled payments or ACOs, by 2016. That would grow to 50 percent by 2018. As for lingering fee-for-service payments, 85 percent would be tied to quality and value starting in 2016 and 90 percent in 2018. Nearly 70 percent of beneficiaries are enrolled in traditional Medicare, the rest are in Medicare Advantage plans.

"In terms of alternative payment models though, the data were bit more mixed. For instance, 20 percent of hospitals with a medical home and 45 percent of those in an ACO reported being part of a bundled payment initiative. Also, 31 percent of hospitals reported having contracts with commercial payers that link payments to quality metrics."

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