Kaiser Permanente joined U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell in Washington, D.C. this morning as she announced measurable goals and a timeline to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.
Today’s announcement marks the first time that the Medicare program has set explicit goals for alternative payment models and value-based payments. With its own prepaid payment model, Kaiser Permanente has shown that financial and health incentives can be aligned to deliver high quality, affordable care.
Jack Cochran, MD, executive director of the Permanente Federation, represented Kaiser Permanente at the meeting in Washington.
“Kaiser Permanente is pleased to see continued health care industry movement towards value-based payment and we believe that that today’s efforts can help accelerate that change,” Dr. Cochran said. “Our 70-year partnership between our physicians and our health plan has taught us a lot about aligning incentives to deliver high-quality and cost-effective treatment to 9.5 million members.”
Secretary Burwell also announced the creation of a Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. Through this network, HHS will work with experts like Kaiser Permanente to support the adoption of alternative payment models through traditional Medicare plans. The group will hold its first meeting in March 2015.
“By aligning the know-how of a Learning Action Network with greater payment flexibility in Medicare, our country will take a big step towards turning the best work anywhere into the standard everywhere,” said Dr. Cochran. “Kaiser Permanente has long called on health care to be a ‘learning industry’ and we are grateful to participate in this Learning Action Network to accelerate the change American families urgently need. We look forward to participating as an active member of the Learning Action Network and commend Secretary Burwell and the Administration for their work on this critical issue.”