Only 11% of provider payments tied to quality

Only about 11 percent of payments to hospitals and doctors are tied to quality and efficiency of care, according to the National Scorecard on Payment Reform, released today by the Catalyst for Payment Reform.

The rest of consumers' healthcare dollars go to traditional fee-for-service or bundled payments, according to the group, a nonprofit coalition of large employers.

Within the 11 percent of value-oriented payments, 43 percent provide financial incentives such as a bonus or higher payment to support better-quality care, the scorecard notes. The rest put providers at financial risk if they fail to meet select quality and cost goals.

The group calls for 20 percent of healthcare payments being value-oriented by 2020.

"The scorecard reveals that we make the vast majority of payments for health care on a fee-for-service basis without any rewards for quality and efficiency. We know traditional fee-for-service payment creates incentives for waste and inappropriate care," Suzanne Delbanco, executive director of the Catalyst for Payment Reform, said today in a statement.

For its part, the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform issued a report earlier this month calling for phasing out stand-alone fee-for-service payment models by 2020. Fee-for-service drives up costs to about $8,000 per person and contributes to uneven quality of healthcare, the commission said in its report.

"We can't control runaway medical spending without changing how doctors get paid," Honorary Committee Chair and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., said at the time.

Last week the Catalyst for Payment Reform released a state-by-state scorecard for healthcare price transparency that failed 29 states. Another seven received D grades, while only two were awarded As.The group contends better state laws and policies promoting price transparency will enhance access to more cost-effective, high-quality care.

For more information:
- here's the scorecard
- read the announcement