What does the future hold for health care payment reform models?
Tornadoes form when high-speed winds rapidly change direction around a thunderstorm, causing the air to swirl horizontally. The swirling air picks up warmer air from the ground, creating a funnel that grows longer and longer; when it touches the ground, it becomes a tornado. The thing about tornadoes – unlike hurricanes – is that they are highly unpredictable once the funnel takes shape. They can touch down anywhere. So, while scientists can predict that a tornado is coming, they cannot predict where it will make landfall.
A tornado is what comes to mind when thinking about the future of alternative payment models (APMs). It’s not because the health care ecosystem (let alone APMs) are poised to wreak horrific destruction upon us all. Rather, the tornado analogy derives from the powerful and influential forces blowing the APM movement in multiple and conflicting directions. The result is swirl.