HHS Announces Goal of Tying Medicare Payments to Quality of Service

On January 26, 2015, Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new goal of tying Medicare payments to the quality of service provided through the use of alternative payment models. According to HHS, this is the first time Medicare has ever set explicit goals for payment to providers based upon value and quality. The alternative-payment goals include tying 30% of traditional fee-for-service payments to quality. The 30% goal is set for the end of 2016, with a 50% goal by the end of 2018.

In addition to the traditional fee-for-service payments, HHS has set a goal of tying 85% of all traditional Medicare payments to quality by 2016 and 90% in 2018. HHS points to the value-based purchasing and hospital readmission reduction programs as examples of tying fees and payments to quality.

HHS also hopes to make these goals scalable and created the Healthcare Payment Learning and Action Network. This network will work with all areas of the healthcare industry to advance alternative payment models.

The HHS announcement may be found at the following link: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/01/20150126a.html

© 2015 Houghton Vandenack Williams

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