It's a slow but
steady process

Only 3 percent of hospitals met CMS' goal for value-based care: survey

June 15, 2016
by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter
The transition to value-based care is proving to be a slow yet steady process. Fewer than a quarter of U.S. hospitals are expecting to meet the CMS' goal to provide value-based care to at least half of their patients by 2019, according to a new survey conducted by Health Catalyst.

"Transitioning from fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based payments is a goal that many healthcare organizations embrace but are having difficulty implementing as they juggle a number of other high priorities," Bobbi Brown, vice president of financial engagement at Health Catalyst, said in a statement.

The survey included 78 health care executives who represent 190 U.S. hospitals with a total of more than 20,000 licensed beds. Over half of them are CEOs or CFOs at large hospital-owned physician groups and hospitals that have between 15 acute care beds and 1,000 beds.

The results of the survey revealed that only 3 percent of the hospitals have already met the goal and 23 percent anticipate to meet it by 2019, which is a year after CMS hoped.

Most of the hospitals have between zero to less than 10 percent of their care tied to risk-based contracts including Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments.

Small hospitals with under 200 beds made up most of that group. That may be because smaller hospitals are five times less likely than larger organizations to have access to enough capital to support risk-based contracting work.

Even though a significant amount of progress hasn't been made yet, that may change in the near future. In the next three years, all but one percent of the health care executives expect their hospitals to be involved in at-risk contracts.

At both small and large hospital, the 52 percent of the executives stated that analytics is the most vital element needed to success with risk-based contracting. The second most important element is a cultural of quality improvement, which was cited by 24 percent of the executives.

"This survey reveals that they're making progress but they could use a little help – some of it financial and some of it technical in the way of better analytics to help identify at-risk populations and better manage their risk," said Brown. "The bottom line seems to be that while progress is slow, healthcare leaders are committed to making value-based care work."