A Better Way to Pay for Health Care?

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<p>The way we pay for health care in the United States often fails to reward quality and efficiency. But a new Commonwealth Fund study reports that a promising new model for reimbursing health care providers has the potential to improve quality and care coordination, lower administrative burdens, enhance transparency, and support patient-centered care, as well as lower costs.<br><br>According to the authors of <a href=" http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_… Case Rates: Paying for Safer, More Reliable Care,</a> under the new payment model, providers would receive evidence-informed case rates (ECRs)--a global fee that is derived from the costs of services recommended by clinical guidelines for treating a patient across an entire episode of care, including services delivered by physicians, hospitals, laboratories, imaging centers, pharmacies, rehabilitation centers, and other providers. The risk-adjusted payments also include a pool of funds for potential complications, a margin for profit, and robust performance incentives designed to promote cost control and quality improvement.<Br><br>"Evidence-informed case rates would create incentives for providers to improve care and avoid complications," say researchers Francois de Brantes, M.S., M.B.A., and Amita Rastogi, M.D., M.H.A., the authors of the report. "Hospitals and physicians that deliver highly reliable care could explicitly warranty their work to send a clear signal to consumers and third-party payers that they are delivering better care than their competitors."<br><Br>Read <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2008/jun/evidence-informed-case-rates--paying-for-safer--more-reliable-care
">the report</a> to learn more about this cutting-edge approach to payment reform.</p>