Thursday, May 3, 2018

Very Brief Blog: Is "Transformation of Healthcare Systems" Mostly Hype?

While we hear much about alternative payment models and health system reform, is much really happening?

U Penn / Wharton health policy gurus Lawton Burns and Mark Pauly are doubtful, as expressed in a new article in Milbank Quarterly.  It seems to be open access.   Find it here.

The takeaways:

  • Policymakers seek to transform the US health care system along two dimensions simultaneously: alternative payment models and new models of provider organization.
  • This transformation is supposed to transfer risk to providers and make them more accountable for health care costs and quality.
  • The transformation in payment and provider organization is neither happening quickly nor shifting risk to providers. The impact on health care cost and quality is also weak or nonexistent.
  • In the longer run, decision makers should be prepared to accept the limits on transformation and carefully consider whether to advocate solutions not yet supported by evidence.