In response to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare has been testing new payment models to improve patient care and control costs. A recent Kaiser Health Foundation report is a primer on three of these models — medical homes, accountable care organizations, and bundled payments:
- Medical homes are team-based care models focused on primary care practices for delivery and coordination of patient care. The payment model typically provides a monthly management fee or other payment in addition to fee-for-service reimbursement.
- ACOs are groups of physicians, hospitals, and other providers that collectively share accountability for the quality and cost of care delivered to patients in an ACO. Financial incentives involve shared savings or losses for ACO performance based on meeting quality and cost benchmarks.
- Bundled payments focus on setting an episode of care budget for a particular clinical condition over a defined time period rather than paying separately for each delivered service. By better managing and coordinating care, providers can come in ‘under budget’.
Each payment model is discussed, including its goals, financial incentives, number of participants, potential implications for beneficiaries, and early results on quality and savings. Preliminary results from these models have been mixed and are summarized in the report.
Source: Basement S. and others. Payment and delivery system reform in Medicare: a primer on medical homes, accountable care organizations, and bundled payments. Kaiser Family Foundation, Feb. 2016. https://kaiserfamilyfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/8837-payment-and-delivery-system-reform-in-medicare1.pdf
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