HHS Secretary Asks for Assistance in Going from Volume to Value
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, August 22, 2017 09:32 AM

The Trump administration won't impose a one-size-fits-all strategy on doctors in their transition from volume to value, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, MD has said. Many challenges remain in standardizing measures of value “when every patient is unique," and doctors practice in widely varying settings and circumstances, he said.

Price stressed that for certain settings and procedures, maintaining “fee for service may not be the end of the world." Traditional payment systems could work for some solo and rural practices, in concert with capitated systems, in certain specialties.

The administration’s job “isn’t to dictate to docs and others providing care what kind of payment models to use or must use … Our job is to make it easier for physicians to use the payment models that work for them, and to put in place a system that incentivizes and accommodates innovation … How do we standardize measures of value and efficiency when every patient is unique?” Price said. "One patient has the same diagnosis as another patient, yet that same diagnosis may be treated differently. It's tough for us to put that in an equation."

Price also asked for ideas on how “we collect data on physician performance without inundating doctors and nurses and administrators with costly, time-consuming paperwork." He added, "That's kind of where we are right now. We've turned a lot of folks in the healthcare professions into data entry clerks."

And, "what kind of data should we collect? How do we ensure its relevance in a dynamic world of medicine?... How do we encourage the development of innovative and alternative payment and delivery models without being clunky?"

Price said he prefers to ask, “who decides?" adding that he believes "physician payment innovation should be in the hands of physicians and healthcare providers across the country. It shouldn't be in the hands of Washington, D.C. We need to facilitate it, yes. But you're the ones with all the good ideas of how we can make our system work better for patients."

Source: https://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/HealthPolicy/66262