Value-based care made major headway in 2017

The shift to value-based care made significant headway in 2017, according to a new report from the Health Care Transformation Task Force that found nearly half of their business was in value-based payment arrangements by the end of the year.

The Task Force, which is comprised of a group of leading healthcare payers, providers, purchasers and patient organizations, was established in 2014 and aims to have 75 percent of its respective businesses in value-based payment arrangements by 2020.

Value-based payment arrangements are defined as those that “successfully incentivize and hold payers and providers accountable for the total cost, patient experience, and quality of care for a population of patients, either across an entire population over the course of a year or during a defined episode that spans multiple sites of care,” according to the Task Force.

Participation in value-based arrangements jumped to 47 percent in 2017, up from 41 percent in 2016 and 30 percent in 2015, according to a survey of Task Force members.

“There is growing evidence that value-based care leads to better health, better care and reduced total cost. That’s why our members remain focused on reaching the goal of 75 percent by 2020,” Fran Soistman, executive vice president and head of government services with Aetna and HCTTF chair, said in a statement.

Humana, which is not a member of the Task Force, also made a big push into value-based care last year, according to a recent report from the heath insurance provider.

ACA changes

The findings are particularly striking just days after a Texas judge found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The ruling, which stemmed from a Republican-launched lawsuit to overturn the healthcare law, throws the entire American healthcare system into a new era of uncertainty. CMS and the White House have stated the ACA will remain in place as the lawsuit goes through an appeals process, but healthcare stocks took a hit on the fallout and numerous healthcare stakeholders have voiced their concerns.

The ACA was a catalyst for many value-based care initiatives that are well underway and could prove difficult to reverse, if the ruling stands.

However, the Task Force moved forward with value-based care goals despite uncertainty surrounding the healthcare space in 2017, too. Namely, Republican congressional members made a high-stakes attempt to repeal and replace the ACA with their own plan, The American Health Care Act, or Trumpcare. The legislation did not pass.

“The transition to value is a challenging journey, and much work lies ahead,” Jeff Micklos, executive director of HCTTF, said in a statement. “While the uncertain landscape in 2017 around value-based care impacted overall performance, we’re pleased to see our members continue the forward momentum.”