Decades in the making, the transition to value-based care may soon be complete. In June, Liz Fowler, the new deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and director of its Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), suggested that CMS may soon require providers to be reimbursed based on patient outcomes. This stands in contrast to the status quo of paying providers directly for their services.
Whether this change comes to pass remains to be seen. But if it does, it will radically reshape healthcare delivery in the United States. Value-based care has tremendous potential to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. But if we’re not careful, it could have the unintended side effect of worsening existing inequities in health outcomes.