Task Force Sets Challenge to Speed Up Transition to Value-Based Arrangements

A new private-sector alliance of healthcare systems and payers will dedicate to accelerate the US healthcare system's transition to value-based models aligned with improving outcomes and lowering costs.

The US healthcare system is chomping at the bit to move away from the current fee-for-service model. In less than a week there has been a policy brief published, the government has set goals, and a new task force has been developed, all with the transition to a value-based payment system in mind.

A new private-sector alliance of healthcare systems and payers will dedicate to accelerate the US healthcare system’s transition to value-based models aligned with improving outcomes and lowering costs.

The announcement of the Health Care Transformation Task Force comes just days after HHS laid out its goals and timeline to shift Medicare payments to a value-based system and on the same day the Brookings Institution released a health policy issue brief with specific proposals to modify legislation in Congress that would move Medicare away from volume-based payment.

Members of the Task Force include 6 of the nation’s top 15 health systems and 4 of the top 25 insurers.

“The formation of this Task Force and its ambitious goal demonstrate that the private sector embraces a value-based approach to improving care and lowering costs,” Richard J. Gilfillan, MD, chief executive officer of Trinity Health and chairman of HCTTF, said in a statement. “We are committed to rapid, measurable change both for ourselves and our country that will improve quality and make health care more accessible for all American families.”

The Task Force is challenging providers and payers to commit to putting 75% of their business into value-based arrangements by 2020. HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said Medicare would shift 50% of its provider payments to alternative payment arrangements by 2018.

The purpose of the Task Force is to develop timely and actionable policy and program design recommendations; new delivery and payment models; and best-practice tools, benchmarks, and approaches to implement them. On Wednesday, the Task Force released its first consensus recommendations to improve accountable care organizations. The developed principles fall into 3 categories: honoring patient choice; improving quality measurement; and ensuring financial stability.

“Our goal is clear—to reform our healthcare system so that it finally delivers the high-quality, coordinated, patient- and family-centered care that families deserve,” said Debra Ness, president of National Partnership for Women & Families.