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Where are we with value-based care?

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Where are we with value-based care?

Where are we with value-based care? December 1, 2017

The cost of healthcare is a much-discussed and much-debated topic. Patients are often challenged with the increased costs of multiple physician visits, hospital admissions, laboratory and diagnostic tests, and medications. One potential solution recently introduced to the healthcare field is the concept of value-based care, a shift away from the traditional fee-for-service model. The idea behind value-based care is that it will result in fewer unnecessary office visits, tests, and hospital readmissions. Several years in, what is the state of value-based care?

Questions about value-based care were posed to 17,236 physicians as part of the 2016 Survey of America’s Physicians. The primary goal of the survey was to answer the question: “What do physicians have to say about the state of the medical profession – and what do their insights mean to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public?”

One of the key findings of the survey was that there is “a continued struggle among physicians to maintain morale levels, adapt to changing delivery and payment models, and to provide patients with reasonable access to care.” Specifically, out of the 17,236 physicians responding to the survey:

  • Only 14% of physicians have the time they need to provide the highest standards of care.
  • Only 20% are familiar with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA is considered to be the primary driver of value-based care.
  • Younger physicians, female physicians, employed physicians and primary care physicians are notably more positive about the current medical practice environment than are older physicians, male physicians, medical specialists and practice owners.
  • Primary care physicians are experiencing increases in incomes and influence in new, value-based delivery models.
  • Only 43% say that their compensation is tied to quality or value-based metrics such as patient satisfaction, adherence to treatment protocols, etc.

In compiling the results, the survey report notes that “the fact that over 12% of all respondents are unsure whether they receive value-based payments underscores the continued novelty of these payment models in the eyes of many physicians.”