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HHS ups timeline for value-based switch, wants 50 percent in ACOs by 2018

Feds want 30 percent of payments for traditional Medicare benefits tied to value by 2016.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to tie more of what hospitals receive in Medicare payments to quality, and on Monday announced plans up have 50 percent of reimbursements tied to value of care by 2018.

Even sooner, HHS said it wants 30 percent of payments for traditional Medicare benefits tied to alternative payment models such as ACOs or bundled pay arrangements by the end of 2016, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced.

By the end of 2016, the HHS also wants to have 85 percent of Medicare’s hospital payments tied to value-based payment models through programs such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program or the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. That threshold rises to 90 percent two years later.

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“We believe these goals can drive transformative change, help us manage and track progress, and create accountability for measurable improvement,” Burwell said.

Janet Marchibroda, Health Innovation Director and Executive Director of the CEO Council on Health and Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center said there is bipartisan support for moving from fee-for-service to a quality, or value-based model.

HHS has already seen promising results on cost savings with alternative payment models, with combined total program savings of $417 million to Medicare due to existing ACO programs, according to HHS.

HHS expects these models to continue to curb health care spending.

Twitter: @SusanMorseHFN

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