3 steps to healthcare payment reform

Let leaders lead, think small and focus on the journey

In order to achieve payment reform, the healthcare industry must take several key steps, said Alan Weil, editor-in-chief of Health Affairs. In a blog post, he recommended that the healthcare industry let leaders lead, think small and focus on the journey, not the destination.

Here are some highlights from three of the five steps Weil outlines in his post.

1. Let leaders lead

Weil says leading insurers and providers should drive payment reform. "While it's tempting to bring all payers in at the outset, an effective reform process requires letting the leaders lead," he said. That's because there are so many challenges involved in reforming payment methods, including defining value and determining payment bundles, that the process gets bogged down if every stakeholder is involved. 

2. Think small

Insurers and other players must continue improving the base payment method of fee-for-service. "The better our fee-for-service system reflects value ... the easier it will be to transition to alternative payment models," Weil said. As insurers continue adopting new payment models and benefit designs, more than 88 percent said they will use health information technology to transform their organizations, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

3. Focus on the journey, not the destination

"As with any long journey, by the time we get to a junction, our map will be out of date," Weil wrote. Focus on the process of improving delivery systems as much as paying attention to the financial model, and reward participants who achieve good outcomes as well as those who are moving in the right direction, he added. 

To learn more:
- read the Health Affairs blog post

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