Value-based payment remained a catchphrase for health system executives in 2019, but progress into meaningful, risk-based models largely stalled.
Although Medicare accountable care organizations saved the CMS millions for the second year in a row, the news was dampened by a decline of new entrants into the program. The agency’s recent changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program that forces ACOs to take on financial risk sooner is likely causing some organizations to shy away from the program.
And despite the strong support in early 2019 when the CMS announced new value-based physician payment models that involve taking on various levels of risk, the agency decided to delay implementation of one of its models—Primary Care First—until 2021. The agency didn’t offer a reason for the delay.