Focusing Payment and Delivery on Patients

Patient advocacy groups agree that as the way we pay for and deliver health care in the U.S. we need to ensure our system doesn't treat patients like an average, but as individuals.

Allyson Funk
Allyson FunkMay 15, 2015

Focusing Payment and Delivery on Patients.

As the way we pay for and deliver health care in the United States evolves, we’ve talked about the importance of patient engagement in the process and ensuring that our system doesn’t treat patients like an average, but as individuals.

Not surprisingly, patient advocacy groups are in agreement. A story in Inside Health Policy last week highlights the efforts of 60 groups, including the Alliance for Aging Research, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Partnership to Improve Patient Care and others, to ensure the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) puts patients at the forefront of the development of payment reforms and models. (More on HHS’ initiative here and here.) The groups stress that doing so will open doors for more individualized treatment that will lead to improved health outcomes.

We recently talked with several cancer advocates to get their perspectives in our Conversations forum on payment and delivery reform.  Linda House, president of the Cancer Support Community, asks, “What is the experience of the patient? Are the measures and the payments being attached to what patients define as value?  A lot of times they may not be aligned with what policymakers define as value.”


PhRMA believes payment reform should increase the benefit individual patients receive from their health care, while also ensuring they are not forgotten in the process. Our key principles outline best practices for payment model design, which should support continued biomedical progress, improve the value of patient care and protect access to high-quality health care.

We all need to work together to put forth models that improve the patient experience on a case-by-case basis with an emphasis on quality over quantity. No two patients are alike, so their care shouldn’t be treated that way either. 

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