Suzanne Delbanco is executive director of Catalyst for Payment Reform, a San Francisco-based not-for-profit organization working on behalf of large employers and other private-sector purchasers to improve the payment system for healthcare services and promote higher-value care. It was launched in 2010 with support from the Pacific Business Group on Health. CPR participants believe purchasers need to use their purchasing leverage to make the healthcare system more transparent and increase market sensitivity to quality and price information such as pay for performance. CPR sees its role as providing thought leadership and coordination among purchasers. Modern Healthcare editor Merrill Goozner recently interviewed her about her organization's efforts, what health plans and employers are doing to narrow their provider networks, price transparency, how payers are using reference pricing and efforts to engage consumers. The following is an edited transcript.
Modern Healthcare: Providers and payers across the country are moving toward establishing narrow networks as a way of providing lower-cost alternatives on the new insurance exchanges. Are major employers moving toward this approach for their employer plans?
Suzanne Delbanco: There are employers that are very eager to improve the value of their healthcare spending and they are looking at many different ways of doing that. Narrow networks are one of the things that they are considering, especially if there is a quality component to it where we can identify a smaller set of providers that meet quality criteria and also can deliver care at an affordable rate.