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Tony Coelho: A Patient Advocate's Perspective on Paying for Value

October 10, 2014
Yesterday, Health Affairs published an op-ed by Tony Coelho, Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Chairman of the Partnership to improve patient care, on the benefit of patient-centered outcomes research to better inform medical care, without limiting patients’ and providers’ choices.

As Coelho writes, 'The movement to place greater financial risk on providers in an effort to pay for value rather than volume will have the effect of fundamentally changing the way health care providers interact with patients. But the question in value-based payment remains: value to whom? The answer should be, of course, value to the patient. And the answer will be, intrinsically, shaped by application of evidence.'

Coelho goes on to assert that value-based payment systems must be built upon the foundation of “patient-centeredness.”

As an epilepsy patient himself, Coelho has a first-hand perspective of patient-centered care. 'My experiences as an advocate for patients and people with disabilities confirm my belief that patients’ voices need not only be heard, but also be acted upon,' writes Coelho.

'As a practical matter, we do not yet have a health care delivery system that effectively views patients as equal partners and decision makers,' asserts Coelho in the op-ed.

Through the op-ed, Coelho announces the release of a new White Paper from the Partnership to Improve Patient Care that examines the future of patient-centered care in the framework of a value-based payment system.

The paper identifies the inflection points expected through the development of alternative payment models - such as Accountable Care Organizations, bundled payment systems, and patient-centered medical homes—while encouraging policy makers to maintain a focus on the patient perspective at every stage of their development.

The full op-ed can be accessed here. The new White paper can be accessed here.