Briefs & Reports

Finance: A Guide to Safety Net Provider Reimbursement

Doug Elwell
Art Jones, MD
Gaylee Morgan
Steven M. Perlin

The prevailing healthcare reimbursement system in the United States has failed to create effective incentives for providers to improve quality and contain costs. The current system has rewarded volume over value and has discouraged providers from working together toward improved health for the populations they serve. These issues are even more acute within the safety net, which faces stronger incentives to increase volumes to compensate for reimbursement rates that are often well below the cost of providing care. This paper describes key concepts that must be part of a value-based reimbursement system and describes how value-based reimbursement creates strong incentives for the development of effective, accountable delivery systems.