Medicare’s value-based purchasing program may not be having much of an impact on the quality of care hospitals provide, according to a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
According to a GAO summary of its report Hospital Value-Based Purchasing: Initial Results Show Modest Effects on Medicare Payments and No Apparent Change in Quality-of-Care Trends,
GAO’s analysis found no apparent shift in existing trends in hospitals’ performance on the quality measures included in the HVBP [note: hospital value-based purchasing] program during the program’s initial years.
…shifts in quality trends could emerge in the future as the HVBP program continues to evolve.
The study also evaluated how safety-net hospitals fare under the program.
GAO found that safety net hospitals, which provide a significant amount of care to the poor, consistently had lower median payment adjustments – that is, smaller bonuses or larger penalties – than hospitals overall in the program’s first three years. However, this gap narrowed over time.