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Original Scholarship Value-Based Payment
Robert S. Nocon
Elbert S. Huang
Tobey R, Maxwell J, Turer E, Singer E, Lindenfeld Z, Nocon RS, Coleman A, Bolton J, Hoang H, Sripipatana A, Huang ES. Health Centers and Value-Based Payment: A Framework for Health Center Payment Reform and Early Experiences in Medicaid Value-Based Payment in Seven States. Milbank Q. 2022;100(3):879-917.
The Future of Population Health
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Context: Efforts are ongoing to advance value-based payment (VBP), and health centers serve as essential access points to comprehensive primary care services for almost 29 million people in the United States. Therefore, it is important to assess the levels of health center participation in VBP, types of VBP contracts, characteristics of health centers participating in VBP, and variations in state policy environments that influence VBP participation.
Methods: This mixed methods study combined qualitative research on state policy environments and health center participation in VBP with quantitative analysis of Uniform Data System and health center financial data in seven vanguard states: Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, New York, Hawaii, and Kentucky. VBP contracts were classified into three layers: base payments being transformed from visit-based to population-based (Layer 1), infrastructure and care coordination payments (Layer 2), and performance incentive payments (Layer 3).
Findings: Health centers in all seven states participated in Layer 2 and Layer 3 VBP, with VBP participation growing from 35% to 58% of all health centers in these states from 2013 to 2017. Among participating health centers, the average percentage of Medicaid revenue received as Layer 2 and Layer 3 VBP rose from 6.4% in 2013 to 9.1% in 2017. Oregon and Washington health centers participating in Layer 1 payment reforms received most of their Medicaid revenue in VBP. In 2017, VBP participation was associated with larger health center size in four states (P <.05), and higher average number of days cash on hand (P <.05) in three states.
Conclusions: A multilayer payment model is useful for implementing and monitoring VBP adoption among health centers. State policy, financial incentives from Medicaid agencies and Medicaid managed plans, and health center–Medicaid collaboration under strong primary care association and health center leadership will likely be required to increase health center participation in VBP.
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