CMS Value-Based Purchasing will not have much impact on hospital payments

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Value-Based Purchasing program will not have much impact on hospital payments when it is launched in October, according to a study in Health Affairs.

For the study, researchers used 2009 data from Hospital Compare and looked at hospital performance for over 3000 hospitals, and then projected payments under the new program for all eligible hospitals.  

Key findings include:

  • 51% of hospitals would have received higher Medicare payments and 49% would have received lower payments.
  • The payments would decrease by more than 0.5 percent for 3.0 percent of hospitals and increase by 0.5 percent or more for 2.4 percent of hospitals
  • Only eight hospitals would have a change of greater than 0.75 percent.

The authors question whether the new pay-for-performance program will substantially alter the quality of hospital care.

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, September 6, 2012; Health Affairs,, September 2012)