Policy Brief: Medicare Value-Based Payment Reform

Medicare Value-Based Payment Reform: Priorities for Transforming Rural Health Systems

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In January 2015, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell announced new goals and timelines for moving Medicare reimbursement from fee-for-service to value-based payment. These payment changes are driving delivery system reforms by making healthcare organizations more accountable for patients’ health as well as population and community health, but implementation has caused issues rural areas.

In this brief, we describe five recommendations to facilitate rural inclusion in value-based payment and delivery system reform:

  1. Organize rural health systems to create integrated care.
  2. Build rural system capacity to support integrated care.
  3. Facilitate rural participation in value-based payments.
  4. Align Medicare payment and performance assessment policies with Medicaid and commercial payers.
  5. Develop rural appropriate payment systems.

Written by Keith J. Mueller, PhD; Charles Alfero, MA; Andrew Coburn, PhD; Jennifer Lundblad, PhD, MBA; A. Clinton MacKinney, MD, MS; Timothy McBride, PhD; published November 2015.