Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Health care consumes 17% of America’s economy and, sometime this year, government’s share of that spending will pass 50%. A consensus is growing that the way we pay for health care is driving costs. The current fee-for-service system encourages utilization and does nothing to improve quality. States have important and unique roles in the health care system including funding Medicaid and state employee health care (generally the two largest pools in each state), licensing providers, collecting data, regulating insurers, implementing public health programs, and convening multi-payer collaboratives. The new Accountable Care Act includes numerous initiatives to reform health care payment systems including bundled payments, shared savings, and accountable care organizations; many require state action.
A new report by the Council of State Governments/Eastern Region, Value over Volume: Quality Based Health Care Purchasing for State Policymakers, outlines the problem, potential solutions, state programs that are working, lessons learned, and guiding principles for policymakers working to shift health care in their state toward quality and constrain costs. In addition to the report, the website http://www.valueovervolume.org/ includes updates, webinars and presentations on quality-based purchasing for states.
Ellen Andrews