Medpage Today: (4/27) - Despite positive progress made in the movement toward value-based care, issues around quality and cost still persist as the health system continues to move toward value. A recent policy brief and white paper out of the University of Pennsylvania found that a long-term strategy is needed to focus on expanding payment models to address such issues. This article outlines several of the recommendations posed to CMS in the white paper as CMS seeks to complete the transition to value-based care, highlighting the pandemic as a catalyst for these recommendations to move forward.
Healthcare Dive: (4/26) - According to a new survey by the Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collaborative, primary care practices are beginning to play a more substantial role in the vaccine distribution process for COVID-19, with about four out of 10 practices (or 38 percent) now administering the vaccine. Of those surveyed, only 19 percent have been able to obtain a steady supply of vaccines and 70 percent said the level of burnout and mental exhaustion they are experiencing has reached an all-time high.
Health Payer Intelligence: (4/26) - More evidence is pointing toward physicians choosing value-based and risk-based contracts when contracting with health plans a year into the pandemic. Payers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) are taking action to support independent practices at risk due to declines in revenue during COVID. Blue Cross NC launched the Accelerate to Value program, which provides financial viability to independent practices to support their transition to value-based care arrangements in exchange for such practices providing access to care for its members and joining a Blue Premier ACO by December 31, 2020. This article outlines other best practices for supporting the transition to value-based care.
Physicians Practice: (4/26) - In this blog, Dr. Michael Attanasio, a Doctor of Osteopathy at Ritner Medical Associates, outlines his practice’s experience during the pandemic and how key features of value-based care can help position practices to be more resilient, adaptable, and future-oriented in the challenges that often face independent practices.
Revcycle Intelligence: (4/26) - Several physician and hospital groups are urging CMS to provide another opportunity for applicants to apply to the Direct Contracting model, following an announcement that the application is closed to future cohorts. America’s Physician Group led a group of providers in a letter to CMMI Director Liz Fowler, noting that this action will hinder the progress in the movement toward value-based care.
eMarketer: (4/26) - According to a Moody’s quarterly report, mergers and acquisitions among hospitals, health systems and health insurers are expected to increase throughout the remainder of 2021. Healthcare CFOs have noted that COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst for increased M&A activity, with 28 percent indicating they would pursue a health care merger and 18 percent indicating they would pursue an acquisition. Many health systems are expected to diversify their services with digital health capabilities.
Fierce Healthcare: (4/23) - A series of quarterly reports from Moody’s Investors Service highlighted how mergers and acquisitions in the health care sector are expected to increase throughout the remainder of 2021. Hospitals and health systems will likely target geographic expansion and revenue diversification in M&A activity, while smaller hospitals and independent practices will continue to feel the financial strain from COVID-19. The reports suggest that independent physicians will be more open to considering affiliations with larger health systems that can offer them financial incentives.
Modern Healthcare: (4/22) - In this episode of the Beyond the Byline podcast, Modern Healthcare finance reporter Tara Bannow and hospital operations reporter Alex Kacik talk about why fee-for-service payment is at odds with population health efforts.
Modern Healthcare: (4/22) - In a letter to CMS, Premier said accountable care organizations (ACOs) need more time to adjust to new quality reporting requirements set to take effect in 2022 in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). While Premier ultimately supports the policy changes included in the new quality reporting requirements, such as fewer quality measures and allowing ACOs to report such measures outside the CMS Web Interface, the group is advocating for CMS to delay or provide an exemption of such requirements in 2022 to allow more time to transition following the ongoing pandemic.
Medical Economics: (4/21) - At the NAACOS 2021 Spring Conference, Mark McClellan, Director and professor at the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University, said that better alignment and sustainable models are needed for value-based care plans to take advantage of advances in technology and care. He also noted that primary care physicians have served a critical role in coordinating care in a cost-effective manner, and more resources need to be invested to support them.
AJMC: (4/21) - Getting high performers into APMs and keeping them engaged to set new benchmarks will require a shift in Medicare policy on pricing and evaluating APMs. To address the way target prices are set, this article recommends the following changes: stop charging the goal posts to reduce program uncertainty; include an explicit margin to make continued investments in process improvement possible; and consider using approved clinical models to set base costs of care.