As 2022 unfolds, it is becoming increasingly clear that health care is at a crossroads. Do we keep reacting to crisis after crisis, potentially undermining our ability to provide consistent patient care over time? Or do we start rethinking traditional care delivery models, so they become nimbler and more attuned to our patients’ needs—the clinical ones, as well as the socioeconomic and environmental ones? As organizations contemplate which path to take, I predict we are going to see some changes in three key areas this year.
More health care providers will transition to value-based care
It has been said a lot, but it bears repeating, fee-for-service models are not always a stable source of income in a crisis. Value-based care arrangements, however, offer the flexibility practices need to navigate the unexpected. More and more providers are realizing that having greater flexibility is essential for long-term resilience. Plus, it makes sense from a regulatory perspective. Late last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Innovation Center set a goal for all original Medicare beneficiaries to be in a provider relationship with accountability for quality and total cost of care by 2030. While that may seem like a long time from now, the deadline will be here before we know it. It can take multiple years for an accountable care organization to turn a surplus. Looking at the 2030 timeline, there is not a lot of wiggle room for providers to enter these arrangements and fine-tune their approach. Moreover, practices that delay may eventually get boxed out of arrangements and struggle to find entry points before the deadline. Given all this, I believe that organizations are going to start accelerating their shift away from fee-for-service and start expanding their value-based care relationships this year.