In a survey of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council in July 2018, sponsored by Optum, 42% of respondents say they think value-based reimbursement models will be the primary revenue model for U.S. health care. Indeed, this transition is already happening. Respondents report that a quarter of reimbursement at their organizations is based on value, on average. While three-quarters of their revenue remains fee-for-service, we see a remarkable change to a reimbursement system that was static for decades.
In particular, survey respondents’ organizations are pursuing two value-based strategies: accountable care organizations, which often use capitated payments; and bundled payments, which provide single payments for multiple services addressing a single condition.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents — who are clinical leaders, clinicians, and executives at U.S.-based organizations that deliver health care — say value-based contracts significantly improve the quality of care, and another 42% say value-based contracts significantly lower the cost of care. While this data suggests considerable support for value-based reimbursement, it is worth mentioning that a significant number (36%) of respondents say they are uncertain that this will ever become the primary revenue model for U.S. health care, indicating that for many, the jury is still out.