HHS Changes Incentivize Value Driven Care, But What About Device Interoperability?
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) set ambitious goals on a series of healthcare reforms including new Medicare payment models and a proposed deadline for interoperability. These are two bold steps that can incentivize quality care and help bring smart technologies into our healthcare system that enable more connected, coordinated and cost-effective healthcare.
Monday’s announcement by HHS that half of all Medicare payments would move to alternative payment models like accountable care organizations (ACO) and bundled payment programs by 2018 potentially changes how healthcare will be reimbursed. The focus on value was made clear by the commitment to have 90% of all traditional Medicare payments linked to quality or value by 2018 as well. Shifting the incentive for care providers from doing more to doing better will ultimately result in a more effective healthcare delivery system.
We need to ensure that value is outcome-based and patient-centered, not focused on process measures. We’ve all seen the rampant waste that can happen when the only incentive is to provide more care, not better care, or checking-off a certain set of boxes versus meeting the patient’s needs. Executed correctly, these changes have the potential to realign our healthcare delivery system to be smarter, more cost-effective and more coordinated, and we all need to get behind them.