Linda Schwimmer: New Scorecard Will Give a Better Sense of Whether APMs Are Working

As the healthcare industry tries to move away from fee-for-service, the new Scorecard being developed by Catalyst for Payment Reform will help states get a better understanding of whether or not new payment models are actually working, explained Linda Schwimmer, CEO and president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. New Jersey is 1 of 3 states that will test the new Scorecard.

The Scorecard is really going to help employers and state purchasers and health plans take a look at whether their focus on moving away from fee-for-service to alternative payment models, such as a patient-centered medical home or an accountable care organization, whether or not that’s working. There’s a lot of different strategies that a purchaser can take: they can shift costs so that employees or beneficiaries have to pay more; they can narrow networks, they can have high-deductible plans.
There’s a lot of different strategies they can take. One strategy is moving toward alternative payment models. And people think that they’re working. They have a sense that they’re working because it’s aligning incentives. But we really need to know for sure, at least whether they’re working directionally.
And so that’s really the purpose of this Scorecard, is it’s to help purchasers and policy makers know, “Are we moving in the right direction? Are we improving quality with this focus on new models?” And if we are, then let’s keep at it. And that’s really what we’re trying to show, directionally, how things are going.
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