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Survey: Politics Won’t Stop Move to Value-based Care

MADISON, NJ — How is the U.S. healthcare system's shift from a fee-for-service delivery model to a value-based system affected by political machinations in Washington?

That is one of the questions addressed in a new study from Quest Diagnostics, "Progress on the Path to Value-Based Care."

Eighty-two percent of the physicians who answered the survey said the transition to value-based care will continue, despite legislative reforms being pushed in Washington, DC, such as the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Quest, a diagnostics information services company, joined by technology company Inovalon, commissioned Regina Corso Consulting to conduct an online survey from April 7-17, 2017.

Of the 452 respondents, 302 were primary care physicians working in private practice who also have hospital affiliations, while 150 were high-level health plan executives.

On the other hand, most of the respondents opined that the country has a way to go toward establishing a value-based system. Since last year's study, the percentage of both physicians and healthcare executives who believe the U.S. has achieved that goal increased four percentage points to 29%. However, most suggest that fee-for-service remains the primary model, with that view more strongly held by physicians who have been in practice longer.


Among the strongest disagreements between physicians and healthcare executives was on the value of electronic health records (EHR).

Fully 75% of health plan executives said EHRs have everything physicians need, but only 54% of physicians agreed with them. More significantly, 79% of physicians said they don't believe that EHR adoption has led to better patient outcomes. In addition, 65% of clinicians said they would like more point-of-care information on performance or quality measures that can be individualized to their patients.

“Physicians continue to invest in EHRs and — despite doubts about their value — said they are open to their potential,” the surveyors pointed out. “Seventy-one percent of physicians said they’d be willing to spend more time using technology if their EHRs could yield insights unique to their patients. Moreover, nearly nine of 10 physicians (85%) agreed that access to quality/performance measures specific to patients is key to achieving value-based care.

“Taken together, these findings suggest EHRs could provide an avenue for physicians to actively seek out information to aid quality and performance measurement reporting. Imbuing current EHR offerings with this type of data could potentially extend their value,” the researchers added.