Demonstrating a dramatic move toward value-based payment, 40 percent of insurers' reimbursements to providers are for value-based care that improves quality and reduces waste--an increase of 29 percent from 2013, according to a new report from Catalyst for Payment Reform.
The report, which is a scorecard based on data representing almost 65 percent of commercial health plans across the country, shows that traditional fee-for-service payment "may rapidly be becoming a relic," Suzanne Delbanco, CPR's executive director, wrote in a Health Affairs blog post.
CPR also found that 15 percent of insurers' members, up from 2 percent last year, are formally attributed to a provider who is participating in value-based contract, including accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes.
However, CPR doesn't see that large jump in value-based payment as an all-around good thing. "With today's pressure to reform payment, health plans and providers are building on a method they know, despite limited evidence it improves care or saves money," Andréa Caballero, CPR's program director, said in a statement. "If we hope to see advances in quality and affordability in the long-term, payers may need to take payment methods to the next level, pairing bonuses with financial risk to providers."
CPR noted, for example, that a mere 0.1 percent of the value-based reimbursements are bundled payments, even though that model "has probably the most promise," Caballero told FierceHealthPayer in a previous interview.
What's more, value-based payments are only effective if they actually lower costs and improve quality care. But there's no real evidence showing those results yet, Delbanco noted in her blog post.