Are Physician’s Becoming More Comfortable with Value Based-Payment?

Are Physician’s Becoming More Comfortable with Value Based-Payment?

Published: January 5th, 2018

With the transition to “value-based care” well underway and healthcare’s shift from volume-based to value-based payment (VBP), significant barriers still remain for many providers while others have become more comfortable with VBP participation.

A recent study, by the American Academy of Family Physicians and Humana measured providers perceptions and attitudes towards value-based payment models to determine if there were any changes in comparison to the 2015 study. (1)

Key findings from the study include:

  • There was an increase in providers that indicated they were either “extremely familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with the concept of value-based payment models.
  • Fewer said they were “not at all familiar” in 2017 (7%) than in 2015 (12%).
  • More than twice as many indicated payments based on quality measures were distributed to physicians, in comparison to 2015.
  • Over half of the physicians surveyed reported to be updating or adding health IT infrastructure in preparation to participate in VBP.
  • More family physicians have hired care coordinators and behavioural health support.
  • Only 14 percent reported they were taking no actions to prepare for VBP, compared to 26% in 2015.
  • The barrier “lack of resources to report, validate, and use of data” decreased in 2017 compared to 2015 (81% vs. 74%).

However, the news is not all positive, and there is still a lot of work to be done. There remain many barriers toward the implementation of VBP, by providers. Below are just a few of their concerns:

  • In 2017, only 8% of family physicians agreed with the statement that “quality expectations are easy to meet in value-based payment models,” compared to 13% in 2015.
  • “Staff lack of time” remains a significant barrier to participating in VBP by 90% of physicians surveyed.
  • 62% reported "lack of evidence that using performance measures results in better patient care" as a barrier to adoption.
  • Lack of standardization of performance measures/metrics remains a top concern.
  • Lack of transparency between payers and providers also remains a barrier to implementation.
  • Only a little more than half of the physicians surveyed said their practice participates in value-based care models.

Although the study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians and Humana offers encouraging signs that physicians are becoming more comfortable with VBP, it also made clear that there are many more challenges ahead.