GAO: Value-based payments have no impact on quality trends, for now

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 30, 2015

A report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that CMS' Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) Program elicited no significant improvement to quality outcomes in its first three years. However, the report noted that "quality trends could emerge in the future as the HVBP program continues to evolve."

The GAO added that, although most quality trends remained unchanged, three measures included in a program to penalize hospitals for high readmission rates did lead to improvement.

"The timing of changes in readmission trends provides some indication that the use of financial incentives in quality improvement programs may, under certain circumstances, promote enhanced quality of care," the report stated. "However, understanding the extent of that impact depends on the results of future research."

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