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January 26, 2017

Dozens of health systems tell Congress to stay the course on value-based care

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    Various health care industry leaders this week sent letters to the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers urging them to continue the transition toward value-based payment models.

    This is not the first time providers, insurers, and advocacy groups have called on the new administration to continue efforts to promote value-based care. For example, the Health Care Transformation Task Force in a December 2016 letter encouraged the new administration and Congress not to "reverse course," noting there has been broad bipartisan consensus on the need to promote value-based payment systems to increase health care quality and lower costs.

    Trump's HHS pick's final confirmation hearing: What Price said—and what comes next

    According to Modern Healthcare, President Trump has not publicly stated his stance on Medicare's traditional fee-for-service payments. Trump's HHS secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) has criticized CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation's (CMMI) implementation of mandatory value-based payment models, but he told lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee that he is hopeful "we can move CMMI in a direction that actually makes sense for patients" and that the center could be a tool for improving certain health care programs.

    Coalition sends letter to Trump, Pence

    In a letter sent Wednesday to Trump and Vice President Pence, a coalition of more than 100 health care organizations urged the administration to continue efforts to transition to value-based payment models.

    "We are writing to underscore our commitment to advancing the highest quality, most cost-effective health care system in the world," the letter stated. It continued, "We call upon Congress and the [administration] to help us achieve this goal."

    The letter's signatories spanned the health care industry and included insurers, health care providers, and pharmaceutical groups, such as:

    • Aetna;
    • Merck;
    • The American Medical Association;
    • The Healthcare Leadership Council; and
    • The Health Care Transformation Task Force.

    The hospitals and health systems which signed the letter were:

    • AnMed Health;
    • Ascension;
    • Aurora Health Care;
    • Avera Health;
    • Banner Health;
    • Baptist Health;
    • Billings Clinic;
    • Centra Health;
    • Cleveland Clinic;
    • Cone Health;
    • Dartmouth-Hitchcock;
    • Dignity Health;
    • East Alabama Medical Center;
    • Ephraim McDowell Health;
    • Einstein Healthcare Network;
    • Genesis Health System;
    • Greenville Health System;
    • Guthrie Country Hospital;
    • HealthSouth;
    • Henry Ford Allegiance Health;
    • Humboldt County Memorial Hospital;
    • Inova Health System;
    • LifeBridge Health;
    • Marshfield Clinic Health System;
    • Memorial Health;
    • Methodist Health System;
    • MetroHealth System;
    • Northwestern Memorial HealthCare;
    • OSF HealthCare System;
    • Partners HealthCare;
    • Randolph Hospital;
    • Regional Medical Center;
    • SCL Health;
    • SSM Health;
    • Summa Health System;
    • Texas Health Resources;
    • Trinity Health;
    • Tucson Medical Center Healthcare; and
    • Vantage Healthcare Network.

    The letter detailed 10 key principles the administration should consider to maintain progress on value-based care:

    • Developing voluntary payment models that provide an incentive for greater participation and quality;
    • Empowering patients to make decisions about their health care that are based on information and provider support;
    • Ensuring that private and public sector health care programs are aligned;
    • Expanding payment models that promote care coordination and collaborative financial arrangements;
    • Improving care management by giving providers access to timely, accurate, and comprehensive claims data;
    • Incorporating patient feedback into provider performance measures;
    • Increasing the use of waivers that exempt participants from fee-for-service legal and regulatory requirements that hinder collaboration and shared accountability;
    • Offering appropriate incentives to access medical innovations and treatments that can improve quality and reduce costs;
    • Promoting testing of new alternative payment models as directed under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA); and
    • Recognizing that the socioeconomic status of patients can affect care delivery and adjust payments when appropriate.

    "We look forward to taking the next steps to reach and surpass the tipping point where value-based health care becomes a sustainable marketplace for generations of Americans to come," the letter concluded (Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 1/25; Rosin, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/25; Sanborn, Healthcare Finance, 1/25; Monica, EHR Intelligence, 1/25).

    Navigating the first 100 days of the Trump administration


    On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in an unexpected upset to become the 45th president of the United States. Health care reform has since quickly risen to the top of the GOP's policy agenda—and heath care executives are grappling with a new sense of uncertainty.

    While many unknowns will remain across the next few months and potentially even years, the first 100 days of the Trump administration will provide significant insight into the direction of reform efforts. Read our briefing to learn what five key issues you should watch.

    Download the briefing

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