New HHS goal: Make half of Medicare payments under alternative models by 2018

HHS has released a series of goals in its transition from volume- to value-based payments, including a benchmark for 50 percent of all Medicare provider payments to fall under an alternative payment model by 2018.

By 2016, the benchmark is to have 30 percent of all Medicare provider payments fall under an alternative model, which includes accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes or bundled payments.

The department's second goal is for "virtually all" Medicare fee-for-service payments to be tied to quality and value. This amounts to 85 percent in 2016 and then 90 percent in 2018.

"To move the ball forward toward these goals, today we're announcing the creation of a Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network to facilitate this public-private sector partnership," HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell wrote in her blog post. The network's first meeting is planned for March.

"Today, for the first time, we are setting clear goals -- and establishing a clear timeline -- for moving from volume to value in Medicare payments. We will use benchmarks and metrics to measure our progress; and hold ourselves accountable for reaching our goals," Ms. Burwell wrote.

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