Scott Hewitt Highlights Progress in the Shift to Value-Based Contracting

Not only are there more dollars being place in value-based contracts, but the healthcare community is starting to see the benefits of these programs, explained Scott Hewitt, vice president, payment strategy and innovation, UnitedHealthcare.

Not only are there more dollars being place in value-based contracts, but the healthcare community is starting to see the benefits of these programs, explained Scott Hewitt, vice president, payment strategy and innovation, UnitedHealthcare.

Transcript

What has been physician interest in participating in value-based contracts? Are you seeing some skepticism disappear?

One of the things that we’ve been doing, as I’m sure most payers are, is tracking what is our evolution in terms of moving to value-based contracting. In 2012, when United Healthcare first started tracking this information, we had roughly $12 billion in spend tied to value-based contracts. Now 5 years later, 6 years later, we have almost $70 billion tied to value-based contracts and not only do we have more dollars tied to value-based contracts, we’re seeing the evolution move form a preponderance of performance-based contracts—so metrics-specific programs—to more programs that are more focused on bundled payments and population health.

So, I think that the provider community, the entire healthcare landscape, is changing to the point where we are seeing the benefits of these programs. Certainly, with the actions that CMS is taking, actions that UnitedHealthcare is taking, actions that employers and states are asking of UnitedHealthcare to undertake. This is the direction that people want to move, and it’s the direction that people should be moving. I mean there’s no other industry where we simply increase reimbursement to somebody—you and I as employees don’t just automatically get a rate increase or our salaries don’t go up on an annual if we’re not performing at a higher level, right, as an example.

We need to bring in more components where we look at the cost and quality of healthcare and how is it being delivery, how is it being received by the members? Is it making a difference? So, I understand the question in terms of providers saying, “I’ve got all these different programs, all these different metrics that I’m being asked to look at. Is it actually resulting in a benefit for the consumer?” And I would think—I know—that the data at UnitedHealthcare shows that it is.