Study details growing acceptance of value-based payments among family physicians, but barriers still exist

Fifty-four percent of family physicians indicate their practices participate in value-based payment models and half believe value-based payment models will encourage greater collaboration between primary care physicians and specialists, according to a recent study on physician acceptance of value-based payment. The results were shared by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and Humana in a congressional briefing this week.

The results are from a follow-up study conducted by the AAFP and sponsored by Humana. The study found that more and more family physicians are embracing value-based payment models, which is reflected in IT, care coordination and other investments. According to the study, family physicians are:

  • Acknowledging a connection between quality and payment. Thirty-seven percent of value-based payments distributed within a family physician’s practice are based on achieving quality and/or outcome measures, an increase from 18 percent as reported in 2015.
  • Investing in care coordination as part of their approach to value-based payment models. Thirty-two percent of family physicians report that they provide ongoing care management/coordination services to all high-risk patients, an increase of 23 percent from 2015. Forty-three percent cite hiring/hired care management and care coordinators, compared to 33 percent in 2015.
  • Earmarking more practice resources for value-based payment. Fifty-four percent of family physicians are in a practice that is updating or adding health IT infrastructure for data management and analysis to participate in value-based payment.

But the same barriers to navigating and implementing value-based payment models that the AAFP and Humana identified two years ago are still prevalent:

  • Lack of staff time (90 percent).
  • Lack of transparency between payors and providers (78 percent).
  • Lack of standardization of performance measures (78 percent).
  • No uniform insurance company reports on performance (75 percent).

Additionally, only 8 percent of family physicians agree with the statement “quality expectations are easy to meet in VBP models,” down from 13 percent in 2015.

The 2017 Value-based Payment Study was sent to 5,000 active members of the AAFP. A total of 482 surveys were returned, and 386 were evaluated after a screening process. For a more detailed review, click here.

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