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Alternative Payments and Physician Organizations

Bruce E. Landon (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, USA)

Responding to the Grand Challenges in Health Care via Organizational Innovation

ISBN: 978-1-80382-320-1, eISBN: 978-1-80382-319-5

Publication date: 12 December 2022


There are longstanding concerns about the sustainability of the US health care system. Payment reform has been seen over the last decade as a key strategy to reorienting the US health care system around value. Alternative payment models (APMs) that seek to accomplish this goal have become increasingly prevalent in the US, yet there is a perception that physicians are resistant to their use and that organizations have been slow to adopt such models. The reasons for the limited effectiveness of APM programs are multifactorial and include aspects related to the design and implementation of these programs and lack of alignment and coordination across different payers and health care sectors. Most importantly, however, is that the current organizational structures in US health care serve to dampen the direct impact of these incentives, often because health care delivery organizations face conflicting incentives themselves. Organizations filter and refine the incentives from multiple external payment contracts and develop internal incentive systems that best reflect the amalgamation of the incentives embedded across their contracts, and thus the fragmented nature of the US health care system serves to undermine efforts to transform care under value-based contracts. In addition to organizations having conflicting incentives, there also are fundamental problems with the design and implementation of APMs that hinder their acceptance among physicians and the organizations in which they work. Moreover, much remains to be learned about how organizations can best adapt to succeed under these models, and how organizational culture can be leveraged to transform care.



Landon, B.E. (2022), "Alternative Payments and Physician Organizations", Shortell, S.M., Burns, L.R. and Hefner, J.L. (Ed.) Responding to the Grand Challenges in Health Care via Organizational Innovation (Advances in Health Care Management, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 133-150.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Bruce E. Landon. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited