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Medicare Unveils Alternative Payment Models

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In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks at Florida International University College of Law in Miami. Burwell says health law sign-ups are off to an encouraging start, but a lot of work is still needed to make the second open enrollment season a success. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks at Florida International University College of Law in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

(Health Leaders Media) – Federal officials have announced an accelerated effort to use payment reform as a mechanism to shift Medicare and the broader healthcare industry away from the fee-for-service model.

During a gathering in the nation’s capital Monday, nearly two dozen healthcare industry stakeholders, including providers, commercial payers, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, announced plans to ramp up Medicare payment reforms featuring alternative payment models and value-based payments.

“Whether you are a patient, a provider, a business, a health plan, or a taxpayer, it is in our common interest to build a healthcare system that delivers better care, spends healthcare dollars more wisely and results in healthier people,” Burwell said. “We believe these goals can drive transformative change, help us manage and track progress, and create accountability for measurable improvement.”

In a statement released Monday morning, HHS officials said the payment reform initiative includes creation of a “learning and action network” to promote the development and promulgation of value-based payment models. “HHS will intensify its work with states and private payers to support adoption of alternative payments models through their own aligned work, sometimes even exceeding the goals set for Medicare. The Network will hold its first meeting in March.”

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