Value-based pay push 'here to stay' under new administration, CMS officials say

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Despite uncertainty surrounding the future of value-based care under President Donald Trump's administration, initiatives focused on tying payment to quality will continue full steam ahead, according to federal officials. Some analysts agreed the push will continue but question how much intensity it will have.

Kate Goodrich, director for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, said that the programs are likely to stick around in comments at an event on accountable care organizations held last week in Virginia.

“We've gotten a lot of questions about where the new administration is headed with value-based care,” Goodrich said. “I want to send the clear message that valued-based care is here to stay.”

The future of value-focused initiatives, such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments, were originally called into question with the appointment of Tom Price, M.D., as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, had previously criticized CMS' rollout of value-based initiatives and joined a group of lawmakers last year in urging CMS to make them voluntary.

“There has been a lot of speculation that the Trump administration is going to slow the growth of ACOs and the movement from volume to value,” S. Lawrence Kocot, a principal with audit firm KPMG, said at the ACO summit. “That is not going to happen.”

Bob Atlas, a strategic adviser and president of EBG Advisors Inc., told Bloomberg BNA  that while the Trump administration will remain committed to value-based initiatives, their efforts will be “less intense than the previous administration.”

The sentiments shared at the ACO event last week echo those from Avalere Health experts, who reported during a recent webinar that the value-based “train has left the station.” 

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