Here's how physician pay is changing as insurers nix fee-for-service — 6 thoughts

Physicians' bonuses and pay hikes are becoming increasingly based on value-based metrics such as patient satisfaction and outcome measures, according to Forbes contributor Bruce Jaspen.

The author of Inside Obamacare: From Barack And Michelle To The Affordable Care Act penned an article on how the shift away from fee-for-service models is affecting physician compensation.

Here are six takeaways:

1. Forty-three percent of Merrit Hawkins clients offering physicians a "production bonus" in 2017 based the bonus at least partially on value-based metrics. That's an increase from 39 percent in 2016 and 32 percent in 2015.

2. Anthem, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna and Cigna are shifting toward value-based models that pay doctors based on quality of care and patient outcomes.

Almost 60 percent of UnitedHealth Group's $130 billion in annual medical spending is on value-based models. Aetna and CVS Health have pledged to add more value-based reimbursement models following their planned merger.

3. Physicians are receiving more reimbursement through bundled payments, accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical home models and pay-for-performance contracts.

4. Compensation is tied to quality and patient experience metrics for 25 percent of providers, a 2018 Medical Group Management Association report found.

5. Industry leaders such as MGMA CEO Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, encourage physicians to prepare for payers to measure them and their practices using data and analytics.

6. Mr. Jaspen predicts physicians will see most of their compensation tied to quality measures if the trend continues.

"In this digital age of instant gratification, medical practices need to take steps to remain competitive and keep their patients satisfied," Ms. Fischer-Wright said in a statement to Forbes. "Tying a portion of physicians' compensation to these metrics is merely one of those tactics. The most important thing to keep in the forefront is this: As the healthcare landscape continues to change, practice leaders must ensure such models are actually doing what they are designed for — improving patients' health outcomes."

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