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What We’re Watching: August 13, 2019


Last week, we released a report on primary care staffing models, suggesting that they should depend on payment model design. It found wide variation in staffing models and revealed that skill mix is not necessarily a predictor of provider productivity.

What we’re saying: Health systems and other healthcare entities are focused on partnering with primary care providers that have cost-effective, high-performing models. At the same time, primary care practices are trying to reduce burnout and care for patients with tight budgets. Since Premier has information on 30K+ providers, we were able to drill down on primary care staffing models to compare their productivity levels, costs and staff composition. We found that more staff with lower skill sets make the most cost-effective, productive models under fee-for-service (which most primary care practices are paid through now). But as they partner with health systems and others to move to value-based payment models, they’ll need to layer on staff with higher skill sets to support better care coordination and the behavioral health needs of their patients.


CMS’ Patients Over Paperwork initiative has driven a focus on reducing provider regulatory burden. The initiative stems from an order from the White House directing federal agencies to “cut the red tape” to reduce burdensome regulations.

What we’re saying: Premier submitted recommendations in response to the next phase of this initiative. We have called on the agency to continue to support innovation, strengthen the structure and stability of APMs, reform physician self-referral and anti-kickback legal barriers, streamline and unify quality reporting requirements and improve the accuracy of Star Ratings.


Over the last several weeks, CMS has issued a number of annual Medicare provider payment rules, including the calendar year 2020 outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and physician fee schedule (PFS) / Quality Payment Program proposed rules and the fiscal year (FY) final inpatient prospective payment system rule (IPPS).

What we’re saying: This webinar led by Premier’s Aisha Pittman, M.P.H., Senior Director, Payment and Quality Policy, and Marc Hartstein of Health Policy Alternatives.


What We’re Watching is a weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members. Check out last week's update.

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