Task force calls on Trump to back value-based care

Health Care Transformation Task Force logoThe Health Care Transformation Task Force called on the incoming Trump administration in a letter sent Tuesday to continue efforts to replace fee-for-service payment models with value-based care.

The task force, which includes patients, payers, providers and purchasers in its ranks, notes in the letter (PDF) that payment and care delivery innovation have long held bipartisan political support, and asked that President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and leaders in Congress make it clear to the industry that the support will continue.

“Given the significant industry investment and strong progress to date, we urge the new Administration and Congress to send signals of support and encouragement so this transition can be sustained,” the task force wrote. “This is not the time for policymakers to waver or reverse course, which would send a negative message to the industry and chill ongoing transformation efforts.”

The consensus of the task force’s 43 member organizations—which includes six of the 15 largest health systems in the country and big-name payers such as Aetna and Blue Shield of California—is reflected in the letter. As healthcare costs continue to soar, the high expense becomes unsustainable for both businesses in the industry and consumers, they wrote, and the letter offers several key ways the incoming administration can show its commitment to lowering healthcare costs.

The task force’s work is an example of the individual private sector leadership that Trump and Republicans have extolled, they wrote, but despite individual groups working hard to continue transforming care delivery and payment models, progress will be stymied if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services doesn’t also signal that it is on board.

Sustainable value-based payment models are only possible “by aligning private sector and public sector efforts,” according to the letter. Policymakers can remove red tape hindering the private sector to improve this, they wrote, but that alignment is key. In particular, they point to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation as a source—a public-sector entity that has made great strides in payment and care delivery transformation.

A likely decrease in regulations under Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress may help foster other industry innovation as well.