Almost two-thirds of healthcare leaders plan to enter into or expand their organization’s value-based payment model participation in the next two years, according to market survey findings released Tuesday by the healthcare data analytics and policy firm DataGen. When asked which value-based care model they plan to enter or expand, commercial bundled payment arrangements and accountable care organizations tied as the top response, followed by bundled payments for care improvement advanced and capitation.

Although the value-based care movement has expanded in recent years, many organizations still face critical challenges when it comes to fully embracing these new models, particularly when it comes to making the necessary investment to effectively participate and ensuring adequate volume to protect against risk. Commissioned by DataGen and conducted by Sage Growth Partners, researchers surveyed 102 healthcare executives about their plans around value-based care and how they will navigate the challenges.

In addition to leaders’ optimism about the future of value-based care, survey findings also show that a fourth of organizations’ revenue is tied to value-based payments. Those organizations with 550 or more beds reported the largest portion of risk, with an average of 37.9% of revenue tied to such payments. Further, 69% of respondents say value-based payments have resulted in quality improving significantly or moderately, whereas 29% say it has only improved slightly or about the same. Only 45%, however, say financials have improved significantly or moderately, whereas 51% say they improved slightly or stayed about the same.

The biggest hurdle to a healthcare organization’s investment into new payment models is the bottom line, respondents said. When asked about their strategic priorities for the year, almost three-fourths of healthcare leaders ranked focusing on efficiency and reducing costs among their top three priorities. Meanwhile, less than a third said they are prioritizing participation in value-based payment models, managing population health and improving patient safety.

Senior care leaders in particular should take note that healthcare executives are learning into alternative payment arrangements, DataGen Director of Informatics Alyssa Dahl said. As more organizations adopt programs that follow care longitudinally, skilled nursing facilities will need to evolve their models to adapt to — or risk being challenged by — the brave new world of value-based care, she added. 

Dahl pointed to a bright spot from the survey findings for senior care leaders: The forecasted investment in care coordination.

“As organizations see increasing value in improving the healthcare experience for patients, senior care leaders may find allies within care coordination partners and the opportunity to forge deeper partnerships with hospitals and other providers across the care continuum,” she said.

Full findings from the survey can be found here.