HHS Secretary Nominee Alex Azar Lauds Value-Based Care

Though the tide is still turning in the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, there is no question that value is the way of the future for healthcare. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary nominee, Alex Azar reaffirmed in his confirmation hearing his support of this shift, signifying that the pace of healthcare and payment reform could quicken soon.

Azar expressed that he intends to focus on continuing to transition healthcare from volume to value—one of his top four priorities. Azar says that making the transition to value-based care will “serve as a catalyst for change throughout the healthcare system,” as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sets the tone of payment structure in the industry.

Azar believes this shift will combat payment inefficiencies and allow for healthcare resources to better serve Medicare beneficiaries. If confirmed, Azar will likely continue CMS’s efforts of the past few years towards this approach.

Azar’s belief in value incentives are a reinforcement of the “new direction” that CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced for Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) back in September. Azar’s support of furthering the value-based movement is an opportunity to both strengthen the industry as a whole, while increasing operational efficiencies.

As we envision the future, Archway believes that bundled payment programs – one segment of value-based healthcare – will be a driving force in the industry. By rewarding clinicians for improved patient outcomes and lower operating costs, value-based payment structures allow providers to better control care management and patient readmissions.