Family physicians have reservations about their ability to thrive in the shift by Medicare and other payers to value-based payment models—and about whether the shift will deliver the promised benefits for patients.
In a survey of members of the American Academy of Family Physicians, 91% of the respondents cited lack of staff time as the leading barrier to implementing value-based payments, according to findings released Tuesday.
Nearly 70% said the new payment models would not improve patient care, and another 59% said they expected them to require more work from physicians without corresponding benefits for patients.
A third of the practices responding to the survey said they were actively pursuing value-based payment models, but 15% said they were instead focusing on optimizing their business under fee-for-service.
The survey comes nearly a year after HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell unveiled an agency goal to tie 30% of Medicare fee-for-service payments to alternative payment models such as accountable care and bundled payments by the end of 2016. That goal increases to 50% by the end of 2018.
“What's clear from this study is there is significant work to be done,” Dr. Wanda Filer, president of the AAFP, said in a statement.
The survey was sponsored by insurer Humana. At a Capitol Hill briefing on the study, Humana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roy Beveridge said he has noted an aversion among some providers to alternative payment models.
“They are skeptical about the impact that these payments reforms will have,” Beveridge said. “Is this juice worth the squeeze?”
To address these issues, payers need to do a better job conveying the benefits, he said.