Obama underscores transition to alternative payment models as top White House priority Last Updated: March 26, 2015
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Addressing healthcare provider groups and other stakeholders convened as part of the new Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, President Barack Obama Wednesday reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to accelerating the adoption of innovative models of care to improve cost and quality.

The president applauded the progress providers have already made and called out hospitals’ work in this area that has dramatically reduced hospital readmission rates and prevented 50,000 preventable deaths in hospitals.

HHS has launched the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network to help achieve the administration’s goal of tying 30 percent of Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models such as ACOs, bundled payment and patient centered medical homes by the end of 2016, and tying 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018. HHS is calling on the private sector to partner and collaborate with the agency to help determine and share best practices on what works, where the government should help and where it should “get out of the way.” According to HHS, more than 2,800 participants have signed up to become part of the Health Care Payment Learning Action Network.

The President was joined by the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell at the White House meeting, which officially kicked off the network. Danielle Lloyd, vice president of policy & advocacy, represented Premier at the meeting.  Participating on a panel were representatives from Dignity Health, Humana, Westchester Health Associates, Caesars, Partnership for Women and Families and the State of Delaware, who all described how they have set their own goals for rewarding value.

Following the panel, Premier and other provider groups, state representatives, insurers, business leaders, and consumers met for the network’s first ‘brainstorming’ sessions to identify the areas in which they can make progress together. The common themes that emerged were the need for alignment across stakeholders on definitions, measurement, interoperability, administrative simplifications, transparency, best practices, targeted efforts on priority populations, and the business case for transformation. The stakeholders agreed that the path to achieving these goals must involve leveraging models that work, developing concrete operational advice and providing tools to scale successes such as data, methods and stable payment methods. The organizations suggested that these actions should be implemented at the local, regional and national level.

CMS has engaged a contractor-run network that will quickly:

  • Develop definitions including alternative payment methods;
  • Prioritize work group activities (work groups will run on 3-7 month sprints); and
  • Set dates for the next in-person meetings (planning two-four per year).