Health care quality

A reality check on value-based health care reform

two doctors operating
Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

There was a telling exchange in this month’s meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that pours some cold water on the fervor to move toward a system that pays hospitals and doctors for how well they take care of patients, instead of how many tests and services they order.

Driving the news: MedPAC was weighing a proposal that would force all doctors to participate in a Medicare accountable care organization. A transcript of the meeting, flagged by the Health Care Blog, revealed that health economist and MedPAC vice chairman Jon Christianson was worried about that idea.

The Trump administration's new primary-care payment models

Health and Human Services head Alex Azar
HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a new set of primary-care payment models yesterday, an attempt to incentivize doctors to produce better health outcomes.

The backdrop: This builds on initiatives by both the Obama and Trump administrations to transition away from a fee-for-service payment system.