The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing health inequities in the United States. Black and Latinx Americans have experienced a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations due to economic disadvantages, structural racism, and higher rates of underlying chronic conditions.
Value-based payment (VBP) structures have the potential to reduce health disparities, and during the pandemic, health care organizations with VBP models have had greater flexibility to effectively pivot their care delivery. However, too few organizations are actively prioritizing equity in their VBP models. We outline three strategies for payers and providers to embrace health equity in VBP design and implementation.
Payers And Providers Should Select And Support Equity-Focused Quality Measures
Measure selection is demonstrative of a model’s goals related to quality and value improvement. While groups such as the National Quality Forum have developed roadmaps for “disparities-sensitive” measures, few well-validated equity measures are currently being used in VBP.