Improving Health Care Value with Global Payment

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Fee-for-service—the prevailing method of paying health care providers in the U.S.—draws criticism for contributing to ever-rising health costs. By rewarding health care providers that deliver more—and more costly—services, reimbursing for health services in this way hampers efforts to improve both the quality and efficiency of care. <br /><br />A new Commonwealth Fund report, <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2010/feb/potential-global-payment-insights-field">The Potential of Global Payment: Insights from the Field</a>, takes a new look at "global payment" models that build on lessons learned from past experience with capitation payment. According to interviews with physicians and industry leaders, many of the problems that plagued capitation payment programs in the 1980s and 90s—like insurers' excessive assumption of risk, and avoidance of sicker patients—can be and have been resolved. <br /><br />Those interviewed for the report, which was prepared by Ann Robinow, say that well-constructed global payment models can help reduce costs by 20 to 30 percent, while also improving the quality of care. <br />