"Payment Reform to Achieve Better Health Care," the latest issue of Health Affairs, focuses on successes and failures of alternatives to traditional fee-for-service care: bundled payment, value-based purchasing, pay-for-performance, patient-centered medical homes, “shared savings,” global budgets, “partial” or “full” capitation, etc. At last week’s briefing to debut the issue, Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Susan Dentzer remarked that payment reform is an “ancient” issue—something we’ve been discussing and grappling with for years—but that there’s reason to be optimistic about the future. She specifically pointed to the "Innovation Profiles"  in this month’s issue, which evaluate various pilot programs. Center for Medicare Deputy Administrator and Director Jonathan Blum, who served as keynote speaker at the briefing, stated that payment reform is the biggest opportunity to achieve the Triple Aim. He described various strategies CMS is employing to transform Medicare to promote value-driven care, rather than volume-driven care. Blum explained that data show no correlation between quality and cost – it’s possible to have high-quality care and low cost. The issue was supported in part by grants from WellPoint Inc., the WellPoint Foundation, and the California HealthCare Foundation. The following AcademyHealth members had their work published in this month’s issue: Medicare’s New Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program Is Likely To Have Only A Small Impact On Hospital Payments Rachel M. Werner and R. Adams Dudley Medicare Postacute Care Payment Reforms Have Potential To Improve Efficiency Of Care, But May Need Changes To Cut Costs David C. Grabowski, José J. Escarce, and Joseph P. Newhouse ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY: Beyond Capitation: How New Payment Experiments Seek To Find The ‘Sweet Spot’ In Amount Of Risk Providers And Payers Bear Austin B. Frakt The Design And Application Of Shared Savings Programs: Lessons From Early Adopters Joel S. Weissman Fee-For-Service Will Remain A Feature Of Major Payment Reforms, Requiring More Changes In Medicare Physician Payment Paul B. Ginsburg INNOVATION PROFILE: Early Results Show WellPoint’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Pilots Have Met Some Goals For Costs, Utilization, And Quality Lisa M. Latts INNOVATION PROFILE: Colorado’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Pilot Met Numerous Obstacles, Yet Saw Results Such As Reduced Hospital Admissions Lisa M. Latts Medicare’s Payment Strategy For End-Stage Renal Disease Now Embraces Bundled Payment And Pay-For-Performance To Cut Costs Vincent Mor and Amal Trivedi INNOVATION PROFILE: Payer-Provider Collaboration In Accountable Care Reduced Use And Improved Quality In Maine Medicare Advantage Plan Randall Krakauer Wide Variation In Episode Costs Within A Commercially Insured Population Highlights Potential To Improve The Efficiency Of Care Lewis G. Sandy Introducing Decision Aids At Group Health Was Linked To Sharply Lower Hip And Knee Surgery Rates And Costs David Arterburn In Amenable Mortality—Deaths Avoidable Through Health Care—Progress In The US Lags That Of Three European Countries C. Martin McKee Visits To Retail Clinics Grew Fourfold From 2007 To 2009, Although Their Share Of Overall Outpatient Visits Remains Low Ateev Mehrotra and Judith R. Lave Health In All Policies: The Role Of The US Department Of Housing And Urban Development And Present And Future Challenges Rachel L.J. Thornton   Health Affairs is an official journal of AcademyHealth.

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