8 quotes from Alex Azar's speech on the transition to value-based care

HHS Secretary Alex Azar discussed the nation's transition to a value-based care system in a speech to America's Health Insurance Plans in Washington, D.C., March 8.

Here are eight key quotes from Mr. Azar's talk.

1. "Today's healthcare system is simply not delivering outcomes commensurate with its cost — President [Donald] Trump knows it, and the American people know it, too. But there is a better way. Imagine a day when healthcare delivery in the [U.S.] functions the way other parts of our economy do. We as patients would pick providers with the level of information we have when using Amazon or Yelp. Consumers would drive quality and cost-effectiveness with information, competition and genuine choice."

2. "Putting the healthcare consumer in charge, letting them determine value, is a radical reorientation from the way that American healthcare has worked for the past century. …Simply put, our current system may be working for many. But it's not working for patients, and it's not working for the taxpayer."

3. "It's not just that the benefits of health IT aren't always apparent to patients — it's that unless we put this information and technology in the hands of patients themselves, the real benefits will never arrive."

4. "If we're talking about trying to drive better value overall, we also have to do a better job of informing patients about the quality and cost of the services they're receiving. That is where our emphasis on transparency comes in — transparency about both costs and quality."

5. "Simply put, I don't intend to spend the next several years tinkering with how to build the very best joint-replacement bundle — we want to look at bold measures that will fundamentally reorient how Medicare and Medicaid pay for care and create a true competitive playing field where value is rewarded handsomely."

6. "There are a number of regulations that may be getting in the way of value-based transformation ... These may be impeding coordination and integration of services, which is crucial to building system that works for the patient and provides quality care at a lower cost … Consistent with the law, we want to work with you to open up new affordable and flexible options."

7. "We're developing measures to prevent information blocking, as well as ways to encourage patient ownership of data in Medicare Advantage and Affordable Care Act plans. We are also going to overhaul Meaningful Use so that the program's incentives are focused on encouraging interoperability. We truly believe these measures can improve quality and drive value."

8. "This won't be the most comfortable process for many entrenched players. But those who are interested in working with us to build a value-based system will have the chance to take advantage of a market where consumers and patients will be in charge of healthcare … Change represents opportunity, and I exhort all of you to take advantage of the opportunities represented by what I've discussed today. Because I assure you: Change is possible, change is necessary, and change is coming."

Click here to read Mr. Azar's full speech.

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