The best opportunity to pursue cost containment in the next five to ten years is through reforming provider payment to gradually diminish the role of fee-for-service reimbursement. Public and private payers have launched many promising payment reform pilots aimed at blending fee-for-service with payment approaches based on broader units of care, such as an episode or patients’ total needs over a period of time, a crucial first step. But meaningful cost containment from payment reform will not be achieved until Medicare and Medicaid establish stronger incentives for providers to contract in this way, with discouragement of nonparticipation increasing over time. In addition,the models need to evolve to engage beneficiaries, perhaps through incentives for patients to enroll in an accountable care organization and to seek care within that organization’s network of providers.
Policy Research & Analysis
The National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR) contracted with the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) between 2009 and 2013 to conduct health policy research and analyses to improve the organization, financing and delivery of health care in the United States. HSC ceased operations on Dec. 31, 2013, after merging with Mathematica Policy Research, which assumed the HSC contract to complete NIHCR projects. Beginning in 2014, NIHCR has contracted with Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending and others, with a focus on research to improve health in Detroit.