Physician payment continues to be a focal point in the health care policy debate. Evolving payment models create opportunities for providers to transform the way they deliver care — with better outcomes at lower costs — but they are not risk free. Quality of care may suffer under a system that rewards providers for containing costs.
Providers who serve sicker populations or those less compliant with “doctor’s orders” may be penalized under a system that emphasizes accountability for the total cost of care. Payment models that rely on provider coordination may lead to greater market concentration among providers and, ultimately, higher prices for care.