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Pace of Change Has Accelerated in Alternative Payment Models

Physicians also report increasing complexity of APMs, more financial risk aversion

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THURSDAY, Oct. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of alternative payment models (APMs) on physician practices has been described in a study published by the RAND Corp. and the American Medical Association.

In a follow-up to a 2014 study that examined the effects of APMs on physician practices, Mark W. Friedberg, M.D., M.P.P., from the RAND Corp., and colleagues used qualitative data from surveys of physicians and other staff in 31 practices in six markets.

The researchers found that the challenges described in 2014 have persisted, including issues related to data that constrained practices' ability to improve their performance and operational errors in payment models. In response to APMs, practice leaders and stakeholders had implemented various strategies, including new capabilities and models of care, investment in data and analytics, and internal financial and nonfinancial incentives; some of these strategies were a continuation of previous efforts. New findings showed an acceleration in the perceived pace of change in APMs, increasing complexity in APMs due in part to an expanding number of performance measures, and a high degree of financial risk aversion.

"These findings suggest that physician practice engagement with APMs would be enhanced by simpler APMs (to help practices focus on improving patient care); a more stable, predictable, and gradual pace of change; greater support for new capabilities and timely data; and reexamination of how practices might respond to APMs that involve downside financial risk," the authors write in a summary.

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