In the News: August 17–23

Financial Incentives Can Increase Primary Care Utilization

A recent Health Affairs study suggests small cash incentives could increase primary care visits among newly covered low-income patients. Newly enrolled patients were randomly compensated $0, $25 or $50 to cover the estimated cost of transportation to a primary care provider, as well as potential additional costs related to lost wages and childcare. Compared to a control group, the compensated patients were 35% (for $25) and 56% (for $50) more likely to see a provider.

Primary care visits are associated with improved health outcomes and lower costs—and for new patients, they can serve as an important first step in establishing physician relationships. However, newly enrolled patients may not pursue primary care on their own for many reasons, including cost, wait times and perception that such visits are unnecessary.

As health care costs escalate, financial incentives can address consumer pain points, improve management in the primary care setting and ultimately reduce costly hospitalizations or ED visits among newly enrolled patients. To read about more innovative ideas in primary care delivery, read the Sg2 Expert Insight: Are You Ready for the Next Wave of Primary Care Disrupters?

CMS Advisory Panel Opposes Proposed Change to Payment for 340B Drugs

On August 21, the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (an advisory panel that represents providers) recommended that “CMS should not implement the proposed change to drug payment policy for drugs obtained by providers with a 340B discount.” In the 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, CMS proposed a change to payment for 340B drugs that would effectively result in a 27% payment reduction. Among the advisory panel’s objections to the proposed change, they noted that “a general redistribution of ‘savings’…is inappropriate, as 340B cost savings are intended for Covered Entities only and not all hospital providers.”

While the 340B Drug Pricing Program was designed to support providers that serve a largely low-income or uninsured population, there has been a great deal of uncertainty over the future of the program. For more information about the 340B Program and Sg2’s predictions for its future, read the Sg2 Expert Insight: What We Know, What We Think and What We Fear About the 340B Program.


“Smaller” Gifts Can Go Far for Clinic’s Crowdfunding Platform

A recent Crain’s Cleveland Business article highlights how providers, such as the Cleveland Clinic, are leveraging crowdfunding to fund projects ranging from research to public health initiatives to clinical care programs. While the fundraising targets are relatively small (up to $10,000 for Cleveland Clinic), they provide an additional way to engage donors and fund incremental and impactful projects.

Providers are faced with an increasing number of initiatives, and crowdfunding may be an effective tool kit addition for funding and prioritizing them. However, provider organizations increasingly need a process that allows a nimble approach to integrating new initiatives and, more importantly, deselecting those that are less pertinent. To learn more about the common pitfalls of the selection and deselection of strategic initiatives, watch the Sg2 on-demand webinar: Actionable Strategic Planning: Prioritization and Deselection.

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As of February 11, 2016, Vizient, Inc. has completed its purchase of MedAssets Sg2 and spend and clinical resource management segments from Pamplona Capital Management, LLC. MedAssets revenue cycle business will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pamplona Capital Management LLP.

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