Two recent announcements provide additional opportunities for NACDS to promote the value of pharmacy, the services pharmacists provide and the need to ensure pharmacy is included in new models of care.

Last week, the Health Care Transformation Task Force released its first set of consensus recommendations for the next generation of accountable care organization (ACO) models in commercial, Medicare and Medicaid programs. The recommendations included implementing principles that accommodate patient choice, improve quality measurements and ensure financial stability.

The Task Force is an industry consortium that brings together patients, payers, providers and purchasers to align the private and public sectors with a stated goal of clearing the way for a sweeping transformation of the U.S. healthcare system. Task Force members have committed to having 75 percent of their respective businesses operating under value-based payment arrangements by 2020.  

The Task Force seeks to provide a critical mass of business, operational and policy expertise from the private sector and states that, when combined with the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other public and private sector stakeholders, can accelerate the pace of delivery system transformation. 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also announced last week plans to increase the use of value-based payments in the Medicare system. HHS has set goals for 2018, which includes the increased use of alternative payment models—such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)—while also increasing the goal of tying traditional Medicare payments to quality or value.

NACDS will continue to monitor these issues and communicate with members and HHS on relevant developments.