President Signs Defense Bill Authorizing TRICARE V-BID Pilot

On Friday, December 23rd, 2016, the President signed a $619 billion defense bill that calls for a pilot program to demonstrate and test the feasibility of incorporating Value-Based Insurance Design into the TRICARE program.  The pilot aims to improve health outcomes and enhance the experience of care for U.S. Armed Forces military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents.

Section 701:  (1) IN GENERAL — Not later than January 1, 2018, the Secretary of Defense shall carry out a pilot program to demonstrate and assess the feasibility of incorporating value-based health care methodology in the purchased care component of the TRICARE program by reducing copayments or cost shares for targeted populations of covered beneficiaries in the receipt of high-value medications and services and the use of high-value providers under such purchased care component, including by exempting certain services from deductible requirements.

The pilot includes an evaluation of how reducing or eliminating the cost-sharing for specified high-value medications and services impacts:  (I) adherence to medication regimens; (II) quality measures; (III) health outcomes; and (IV) beneficiary experience.

In February 2016, A. Mark Fendrick, MD, developer of the V-BID concept and Director of the University of Michigan V-BID Center, testified before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel.

This major policy milestone builds on growing bipartisan support and the expanded role of V-BID in public and private payers, including the Medicare Advantage V-BID demonstration and H.R. 5652 “Access to Better Care Act of 2016,” a bipartisan bill that provides high-deductible health plans the flexibility to provide coverage for services that manage chronic disease prior to meeting the plan deductible.

Learn more about V-BID in the TRICARE program here.

NPR Article         IHPI Press Release  

 UM Health System Press Release         Modern Healthcare Article