Although still a subject of debate, the fee-for-service health care payment system that reimburses providers for individual services is widely indicted for promoting care that is inefficient, uncoordinated, and too often fails to meet the needs of patients. Whether or not fee-for-service is the main culprit, the escalating cost and inconsistent quality of US health care highlights the need for a better system. In discussions about what that system should look like, the terms “patient-centered” and “value-based” have become buzz words for payment and delivery reform in health care.
Unfortunately, many well-intentioned efforts to move to a more effective system are adding to the already substantial administrative and regulatory burden on physicians, hospitals, and other providers. In turn, these cumbersome new initiatives stifle innovation and obstruct meaningful payment and delivery reform. The current administration has appropriately recognized that this over-regulation is impeding the transition to a truly patient-centered and value-based health care system.