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Many Physicians See Better Care Coordination as Key to Managing Costs

March 10, 2016

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Ed Emerman

BOSTON, March 10, 2016 – As the health care industry develops new payment and delivery models to improve efficiency and help control costs, a new report from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health reveals that physicians are cautiously optimistic that these new payment models may contribute to a higher quality of care and improved patient outcomes. The survey of 500 practicing physicians measured their opinions about emerging payment and delivery systems, and their views on the current payment model.

The new payment models, such as pay-for-performance, patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations, tie reimbursement to quality and performance outcomes, whereas the current reimbursement model is based on services provided. The survey found that many physicians don’t think the current fee-for-service model is aligned with providing high-quality health care. Only 41 percent of physicians said this system is optimal for delivering positive patient outcomes. There’s even less confidence with doctors under 35 years old where that figure drops to 28 percent.

Physicians surveyed feel that alternative payment models may deliver a variety of positive benefits, including improved quality of patient care, greater efficiency of medical practices and improvements in overall patient health. When asked to rate the top benefit of alternate payment models on their practice, physicians ranked “positive impact on patient health” as the top-rated outcome.

According to the survey, many physicians have some experience with a new payment model, with 55 percent of physicians saying that they participate in some form of an alternate payment model, and more than one-third of participating physicians have been doing so for over three years. The survey also indicated that the majority of physicians are open to the idea of migrating to an alternative payment system – 80 percent of physicians would consider participating in a new payment model in the future.

“Employers are very interested in the role that emerging delivery models will play in improving health and managing cost,” said Adam Stavisky, senior vice president, Fidelity Benefits Consulting. “Managing health care costs remains a top priority for employers, and this survey highlights the emerging role that new payment models will play in improving quality and efficiency of delivering health care to employees.”

“At the end of the day, physician buy-in and support are crucial to the success of these new delivery models,” said Brian Marcotte, president & CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “We are asking physicians to change how they engage their patients, manage their practice and get paid. The right resources, technology and analytics have to be in place to help physicians make this transition to deliver on the promise of improved patient outcomes and lower costs.”

About the National Business Group on Health®

The National Business Group on Health is the nation’s only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers’ perspective on national health policy issues and helping companies optimize business performance through health improvement, innovation and health care management. The Business Group leads initiatives to address the most relevant health care issues facing employers today and enables human resource and benefit leaders to learn, share and leverage best practices from the most progressive companies. Business Group members, which include 71 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families.

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About Fidelity’s Benefits Consulting
Fidelity’s Benefits Consulting business helps mid- to large-size employers nationwide assess the effectiveness of their benefits programs. The business provides a comprehensive approach to benefits design, strategy, funding, communications and delivery by looking at clients’ health care and retirement plans before diagnosing business solutions. The group’s specialties include retirement and health care plan consulting, custom data administration, compliance and employee communication. Benefits Consulting has offices in Boston, New York City, London, San Francisco, Chicago, Raleigh, Dallas, Smithfield, RI and Merrimack, NH.