A report released today by the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN) finds that progress is being made across the country to improve quality, reduce costs, and provide better health outcomes for patients through the adoption of alternative payment models (APMs), according to a press release from LAN, an organization launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist with the transition to APMs.
The LAN report provides results of a recently completed study – the largest and most comprehensive of its kind – measuring use of APMs among public and private health plans that agreed to participate in the study. Conducted from May 19, 2016 to July 13, 2016, the findings capture actual health care spending from 2015 and provide an estimate of spending as of January 2016 across commercial, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid market segments. More than 70 health plans participated in the study, accounting for 67% of the U.S. population. Nationally, nearly 25% of payments are in APMs supporting better care coordination and patient care.
For the 2016 estimate, data on contracts in place as of January 1, 2016 was collected from health plans of varying size and geographies representing more than 128 million insured lives, or nearly 44% of the combined Commercial, Medicare Advantage and, Medicaid markets. The data reveals progress toward APM implementation, with responding plans showing nearly 25% of payments expected to flow through APMs in 2016. The results also highlight that continuing payment innovation is required to transform the health care system to one that ties payment to quality and value.
For the 2015 metrics, participating health plans submitted data to the LAN, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), or the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and aggregated results were calculated. The 2015 results represent nearly 200 million Americans and approximately 67% of the covered population in three market segments. The data highlights total health care spending across Category 1 (62%), Category 2 (15%), and Categories 3 and 4 (23% combined).
“Conducting the study has been a critically important first step in gauging the nation’s collective progress toward the adoption of APMs,” said Sam Nussbaum, chair of the LAN’s APM Framework & Progress Tracking Work Group that led this effort. “The results provide an essential benchmark for future measurement efforts. We hope the collection process coupled with the analytics to determine what is working will accelerate the transformation to value-based payment.”
The study assesses progress towards achieving the LAN’s goal of tying 30% of total U.S. healthcare payments to APMs by 2016.
“I’m excited to see that almost 25% of payments nationally are in APMs supporting better care, smarter spending, and healthier people,” said Patrick Conway, Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. “CMS now wants to work with the private sector to reach our goal of 50% of payments in these models by the end of 2018.”
“Our objective with this initiative was to forge a common direction and determine the pace at which we’re moving towards value-based payments,” said Anne Gauthier, LAN Project Leader. “This study sheds light on the types of payment models that are currently being used across public and private sectors in an effort to move closer to our collective goals.”
The results highlight several key areas, including how health plans pay providers and what progress is being made over time. Participation in this effort has enabled health plans involved in the study to better align various definitions of payment models, improve their tracking of payments via different payment models, and promote a more consistent approach across public and private sectors.
“This report shows the meaningful progress we’ve made to improve quality and lower costs,” said Marilyn Tavenner, President and CEO, America’s Health Insurance Plans. “Health plans, doctors, hospitals, businesses, and public programs are all changing, all collaborating – and all improving the way we deliver care. We’re being smarter purchasers of health care by prioritizing efficient, effective, and evidence-based approaches to delivering care. That means better quality for patients and lower costs for consumers.”