Payment Reforms that Foster Value in Health Care

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<p>Health care professionals are increasingly frustrated by payment systems that fail to reward efforts to improve quality. In fact, one reason for the high costs of care and persistent gaps in quality is that current payment systems provide disincentives to hospitals, physicians, and others that deliver high-quality care at lower cost. At the same time, they offer significant incentives for providing expensive, inefficient treatments that often do not result in better patient outcomes.<br><br>A new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=29959&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D522583%26%23doc522583">report</a> from The Commonwealth Fund can assist health care payers and policymakers in their efforts to create new payment systems that promote better, more efficient care and reduce costs. Drawing on the research and proposals of many researchers and practitioners, Harold D. Miller of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative discusses the quality and cost problems that current payment systems create, identifies the goals and issues that revised payment systems need to address and the options for doing so, and suggests a regional strategy for pursuing payment reform.<br><br>The report also calls for a wide variety of payment demonstration projects around the country: "Just as experimentation and evaluation is a hallmark of evidence-based medicine," writes Miller, "experimentation and evaluation will also likely be needed in order to develop the most effective cure for the ills of the payment system."<br /><br />Additional support for this research was provided by the California HealthCare Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.</p>