The warnings are now familiar: health care spending for retirees in the United States is unsustainable, the Medicare program is going bankrupt, and the program is in desperate need of reform. The financial burden the Medicare program imposes on the federal budget and the national economy is substantial. Medicare’s total obligations were 3.5% of the gross domestic product in 2013 and are projected to increase to 5.4% by 2035, primarily due to expected growth in enrollment from 52.3 million to 86.8 million beneficiaries, and will substantially strain the economy and the federal budget.1 Alternative payment models (APMs), which are built on the existing fee-for-service foundation but include new payments linked to the effective management of a population or episode of care, have been proposed as potential solutions to restrain costs. In this Viewpoint, we describe the status of the APMs being tested in the Medicare population and the outlook for these models to reduce program expenditures.
Clough JD, Richman BD, Glickman SW. Outlook for Alternative Payment Models in Fee-for-Service Medicare. JAMA. 2015;314(4):341-342. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8047