Panel slams fee for service

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The predominance of fee-for-service payment methods is the greatest barrier to improving efficiency in the nation's healthcare system, according to a May 29 report from a panel of White House advisors. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology criticized the FFS payment model because it focuses on the volume of services provided rather than on better outcomes.

Such research is expected to help accelerate long-term care's deepening involvement with managed care.

Current reimbursement methods “reward procedures, not personalized care,” according to the panel, which encouraged payment models that rely on metrics to identify high-value care. In addition, the PCAST report stressed that the nation's healthcare system is hindered by an insufficient data infrastructure and limited technical capabilities.

PCAST focused on how the federal government can accelerate alignment of payment systems with desired outcomes, increase access to health data and analytics, involve communities in improving healthcare delivery, and train health professionals.

Provider organizations are calling for reform as well. Kindred Healthcare asserted that “current silo-based post-acute delivery and payment systems are unsustainable for the long term” in its recent “Blueprint for Reform” report.