Newtown, CT – November 23, 2012
From Maine to New Mexico, and Arkansas to Washington, the pace of change is accelerating – Now that the dust has settled on the elections, the realization has finally set in that we will be gradually moving away from the status quo. And for that, we should all give thanks. While some of the states whose leaders were in denial have been given more time to implement their health care exchanges, these functional markets for health insurance are being set up, ready to open for business in a little over a year. Millions of Americans, many of whom are small business owners, will have access to a standard set of coverage options, with guaranteed issue. And for that, we should all give thanks. In a few months, the long gestational period of the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement will be over and the pilot will launch, joining the other value-based payment pilots already launched. Altogether, close to 10% of Medicare beneficiaries will soon be getting care that is paid for in a manner other than strict FFS. And for that, we should also all give thanks. The pace of change is accelerating, but not fast enough.
What this means to you – We need far more than 10% of Medicare beneficiaries whose care is paid under VBP formulas. And while the implementation of other aspects of the ACA's payment and delivery system reform initiatives will continue to be done over the next 24 to 36 months, the private sector needs to push forward with far greater speed. That's because it will take time for the industry to reshape itself to become fully patient-centric, and the longer it takes to get incentives changed, the farther out the full transformation of the delivery system will be. Why? Because it's tough to be good when you're penalized for it. And until the majority of provider payment encourages and reinforces the good behaviors that are valiantly being undertaken today, we'll be holding back reformation. There's a lot to be thankful for this year, not least of which are the daily heroics of clinicians that fight for their patients health and well being. If we press a little harder on the accelerator, there will be even more to be thankful for next year.
Francois de Brantes
Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.