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Risk contracting and operational capabilities in large medical groups during national healthcare reform

Risk contracting and operational capabilities in large medical groups during national healthcare reform

American Journal of Managed Care 22(6): 441-446

Little is known about the scope of alternative payment models outside of Medicare. This study measures the full complement of public and private payment arrangements in large, multi-specialty group practices as a barometer of payment reform among advanced organizations. We collected information from 33 large, multi-specialty group practices about the proportion of their total revenue in 7 payment models, physician compensation strategies, and the implementation of selected performance management initiatives. We grouped respondents into 3 categories based on the proportion of their revenue in risk arrangements: risk-based (45%-100%), mixed (10%-35%), and fee-for-service (FFS) (0%-10%). We analyzed changes in contracting and operating characteristics between 2011 and 2013. In 2013, 68% of groups' total patient revenue was from FFS payments and 32% was from risk arrangements (unweighted average). Risk-based groups had 26% FFS revenue, whereas mixed-payment and FFS groups had 75% and 98%, respectively. Between 2011 and 2013, 9 groups increased risk contract revenue by about 15 percentage points and 22 reported few changes. Risk-based groups reported more advanced implementation of performance management strategies and were more likely to have physician financial incentives for quality and patient experience. The groups in this study are well positioned to manage risk-based contracts successfully, but less than one-third receive a majority of their revenue from risk arrangements. The experience of these relatively advanced groups suggests that expanding risk-based arrangements across the US health system will likely be slower and more challenging than many people assume.

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Accession: 058777603

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PMID: 27355812

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