American College of Physicians Joins HHS in Accelerating Alternative Payment Methods Through 'Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network'

Will Work to Move Payment Toward Value and Quality in U.S. Health System

(Washington) The American College of Physicians (ACP) today joined the Department of Health and Human Services in an historic and ambitious initiative to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying clinicians based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients. The Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network is a key component of this effort to deliver better care, smarter spending of health dollars, and healthier people.

"ACP will educate our 141,000-member physicians about - and promote broad adoption of - alternative payments models, including the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), the PCMH neighborhood/specialty practice model, and accountable care organizations (ACOs)," said Steven E. Weinberger, MD, FACP, ACP's executive vice president and chief executive officer, who attended today's event. "ACP is committed to continuing to develop numerous tools and resources to help physicians make the transition to these alternative payment and delivery system models. Through its High Value Care initiative and its Center for Patient Partnership in Healthcare, ACP will promote ways for patients and clinicians to work together as partners to achieve the highest quality, patient-centered health care."

The Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network is being established to provide a forum for public-private partnerships to help the U.S. health care payment system (both private and public) meet or exceed recently established Medicare goals for value-based payments and alternative payment models. To help drive the health care system toward greater value-based purchasing - rather than continuing to reward volume regardless of quality of care delivered, HHS has set a goal of moving 30 percent of Medicare payments into alternative payment models by the end of 2016 and 50 percent into alternative payment models by the end of 2018. Alternative payment models include models such as ACOs, bundled payments, and advanced primary care medical homes.

"ACP strongly believes that all public and private payers should transition their payment systems to support innovative payment and delivery models linked to the value of the care provided," noted David A. Fleming, MD, MA, MACP, president of ACP. "We particularly believe that the Patient-Centered Medical Home has been shown to improve quality and patient and physician satisfaction, reduce health care disparities, and reduce costs."

The Network will serve as a forum where payers, providers, employers, purchasers, state partners, consumer groups, individual consumers, and others can discuss how to transition towards alternative payment models that emphasize value. The Network will perform the following functions:

  • Serve as a convening body to facilitate joint implementation of new models of payment and care delivery,
  • Identify areas of agreement around movement toward alternative payment models and define how best to report on these new payment models,
  • Collaborate to generate evidence, share approaches, and remove barriers,
  • Develop common approaches to core issues such as beneficiary attribution, financial models, benchmarking, quality and performance measurement, risk adjustment, and other topics raised for discussion, and
  • Create implementation guides for payers, purchasers, providers, and consumers.


About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.