As the U.S. population ages and health care costs continue to rise, policies aimed to control costs have become a major focus of the reform effort. Provider payment reform is at the core of these policies. The overall aim of this research is to understand the implications of provider payment reform on health care costs and physician behavior. The proposed research is largely empirical, but there is an economic theory component. This project will center on an empirical evaluation of a large payment reform policy in a private plan environment.
Cl aims and enrollment data will be used to study the effects of changing a physician group's reimbursement towards prospective payment on costs, utilization, and physician referral behavior. The project will also develop two simple economic models, a normative model of physician optimal referral and a positive model of physician specialization, to complement the empirical work.

Public Health Relevance

As provider payment reform is a central tool for controlling health care costs, understanding how payment reform affects the cost and quality of care is an important objective for policymakers and public health officials. The proposed project provides the public health and health policy communities a rigorous evidence-based evaluation of a large provider payment reform initiative.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Individual Predoctoral NRSA for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships (ADAMHA) (F30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F16-B (20))
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Bhattacharyya, Partha
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Harvard University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Chien, Alyna T; Song, Zirui; Chernew, Michael E et al. (2014) Two-year impact of the alternative quality contract on pediatric health care quality and spending. Pediatrics 133:96-104
Song, Zirui; Rose, Sherri; Safran, Dana G et al. (2014) Changes in health care spending and quality 4 years into global payment. N Engl J Med 371:1704-14
Song, Zirui; Sequist, Thomas D; Barnett, Michael L (2014) Patient referrals: a linchpin for increasing the value of care. JAMA 312:597-8
Sharp, Adam L; Song, Zirui; Safran, Dana G et al. (2013) The effect of bundled payment on emergency department use: alternative quality contract effects after year one. Acad Emerg Med 20:961-4
Song, Zirui; Ayanian, John Z; Wallace, Jacob et al. (2013) Unintended consequences of eliminating medicare payments for consultations. JAMA Intern Med 173:15-21
Song, Zirui; Lee, Thomas H (2013) The era of delivery system reform begins. JAMA 309:35-6
Song, Zirui; Hill, Caterina; Bennet, Jennifer et al. (2013) Mobile clinic in Massachusetts associated with cost savings from lowering blood pressure and emergency department use. Health Aff (Millwood) 32:36-44
Song, Zirui; Safran, Dana Gelb; Landon, Bruce E et al. (2011) Health care spending and quality in year 1 of the alternative quality contract. N Engl J Med 365:909-18