Elizabeth Mitchell Discusses the Pace of Payment Reform and Transparency

Payment reform in the US is progressing considerably, but more transparency is necessary in order to change payment for the better in the United States, said Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.

Payment reform in the US is progressing considerably, but more transparency is necessary in order to change payment for the better in the United States, said Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How do you see the pace of payment reform moving?

I think there is considerable momentum for change, at the regional level, at the national level, and across both the public and private sectors. I think the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been an incredible leader in driving payment reform, but I’m also seeing the commercial sector health plans, employers and providers, get increasingly ready for transformative change. So I see a lot of momentum and a lot of movement.

How closely intertwined is transparency with a value- and performance-based healthcare system?

Well, I think transparency is absolutely necessary but insufficient. I actually think Congress presumed that there was transparent information available when they passed MACRA [Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act] because you can’t pay for value if you don’t have any way to define it.

So without transparent performance information we’re going to have a very hard time not only changing payment, but evaluating the impact of that. I think there is going to be increasing demand from those moving towards value payment to really have some way to learn what’s happening, to set targets, to set priorities, and then to evaluate impact.