Providers and analysts are calling new value-based physician payment models announced last week by the CMS game-changers, potentially signaling a new era in which many providers are taking on downside risk and responsibility for total cost of care.
The five new voluntary payment models, which are available under the Primary Care First heading through the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, vary in levels of risk, but all involve providers receiving fixed payments based on their population of Medicare beneficiaries. They’re also designed to encourage improvement on quality metrics and lower costs through bonuses and penalties.
Two of the models are essentially riskier versions of existing primary-care experiments, while the remaining three are Direct Contracting models that are new to Medicare, with two requiring providers to take on full risk.
Providers and analysts alike are touting the models as a significant moment in the movement to value-based payment, which has been talked about for years with little actual adoption.