Hospitals seek payer partnerships, risk-based contracts

More hospitals participate in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) in hopes of improving cost efficiencies, according to a new report from ITG Market Research.

In addition, more hospitals and health systems seek partnerships with federal and private payers for risk-based models like shared savings and bundled payments. Hospitals and payers also test more experimental approaches, according to the report statement.

While a relatively small proportion of hospitals use risk-based contracting, nearly half of executives who do not currently participate in that model said they plan to implement it within the next year.

Although most of the hospital executives surveyed are optimistic about the nation's overall economy, many said they are waiting to see financial improvement within their own organizations. They expressed anxiety over the effects of the Affordable Care Act and lower reimbursements.

More than 60 percent of 100 respondents named reimbursement cuts as a major concern, which Graeme Christianson, ITG director of healthcare market research, said suggests executives do not expect enough newly-insured patients to offset the expected losses from reimbursement cuts. This is especially true in states that have declined to expand eligibility for the Medicaid program under the ACA, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

In light of these cost constraints, one in three executives said their organization had cut staff in the first half of the year, and more than 40 percent anticipated lower spending on large capital equipment in the next year.

To learn more:
- read the statement