Faster than expected transition from fee-for-service healthcare should grab attention of clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups who face financial unknowns under new payment systems
Clinical laboratory executives should take note of a key financial fact. The transition from fee-for-service healthcare to value-based reimbursement is occurring at a faster clip than the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) anticipated last year when federal officials announced a plan to tie 30% of traditional Medicare spending to alternative payments models by the end of 2016.
That means the transition away from fee-for-service payment for medical laboratory tests and other healthcare services is moving ahead of schedule. As evidence, HHS recently announced it reached the 30% target at the start of 2016, nearly a year ahead of the schedule laid out when the Obama Administration outlined a plan to reward healthcare providers based on quality of care rather than the volume of services they provide.
AJMC study shows ACOs that allocate majority of shared savings to primary care providers are more likely to generate savings
When it came time to pay bonuses to Medicare’s Pioneer ACOs and Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs based on 2014 results, a substantial proportion of the payments went to primary care physicians compared to hospitals and specialist physicians. Significantly, only a minority of these ACOs qualified for bonus payments.
Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers watching the growth of ACOs will find it notable that primary care doctors received 46% of the shared-savings bonuses in the program’s first two years. Hospitals received 27% of the incentives while 20% went to specialists, according to a Modern Healthcare report.
High Expectations That ACOs Can Help Control Healthcare Costs
Twenty Pioneer ACOs and 333 Medicare’s Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs combined to produce more than $411 million in total savings in 2014, although only 29% of the organizations generated enough savings to earn a bonus, a CMS Fact Sheet indicated.
“These results show that accountable care organizations as a group are on the path towards transforming how care is provided,” stated CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt in a statement. “Many of these ACOs are demonstrating that they can deliver a higher level of coordinated care that leads to healthier people and smarter spending.” (more…)