CENTER UPDATE | JuLY 2020

This update features policy developments, media reports, and events
supporting continued momentum for multiple V-BID Center initiatives throughout July.

Click here to view V-BID related policy developments.

Click here to view recent V-BID related developments in the COVID-19 response.

Click here to view recent V-BID related developments in HDHPs.

Click here to view recent literature items relevant to the V-BID Center.

Click here to view recent news items relevant to V-BID.

V-BID Included in Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations

On July 8th, the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force released a document detailing recommendations for key issues which specifically mentioned value-based insurance design in its health care vision. This development builds upon the strong bipartisan support of V-BID implementation including the Affordable Care Act and COVID-19 legislation.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Could Mean High Out-Of-Pocket Medical Costs for Many Americans

Americans could still face substantial out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 hospitalizations if they are enrolled in “self-insured” employer health insurance plans that opt out of waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 care. The potential costs are highest for those enrolled in consumer-directed health plans (a type of high-deductible health plan).

How Can COVID-19 Refocus Our Health Care System Towards Value and Crisis Preparedness?

Leaders of the Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment released a blog post presenting questions the health system and public policy must grapple with in the wake of the pandemic. The authors pledge to collaborate on answering these questions to ensure health care dollars are spent wisely moving forward.

COVID-19 Pandemic: An Opportunity to Reduce and Eliminate Low-Value Practices in Oncology?

This JAMA Oncology Viewpoint highlights the need for value-based cancer care during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors suggest centering meaningful patient outcomes when making treatment decisions and eliminating services with little clinical benefit.

COVID-19 Effects on Care Volumes: What They Might Mean and How We Might Respond

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a drastic decrease in the utilization of both high-value and low-value services. A recent Health Affairs blog, co-authored by V-BID Center Director Mark Fendrick, analyzes the changes in admissions volumes, suggests potential clinical and economic implications, and emphasizes the need to adjust payment models moving forward.

Predeductible Coverage of Cardiovascular Medications Safeguard Patients in HDHPs; Enhanced Access to Essential Services Needed Following COVID-19

Wharam and colleagues report that patients enrolled in HDHPs that covered cardioprotective medications on a predeductible basis did not experience increased rates of adverse events. V-BID Center Director Mark Fendrick writes that as the COVID-19 pandemic imparts added financial stress, public and private payers should redesign their benefit packages to cover essential services more generously and implement reforms that prevent the resurgence of low-value care.

Use of Health Savings Accounts Among US Adults Enrolled in High-Deductible Health Plans

The results of a national survey indicate that few adults in high-deductible health plans are using health savings accounts to save for health care. Employers, health plans, and health systems should encourage health savings account uptake and use in addition to adopting clinically nuanced HDHP benefit designs.

Association Between High Deductible Health Plans and Disparities in Access to Care Among Cancer Survivors

In a recent study, high-deductible health plans were associated with cost-related barriers to care for cancer survivors, with black patients experiencing significantly greater barriers relative to white patients. Read the V-BID Center’s brief on the role of cost-sharing in health disparities here.

Massachusetts Health Policy Commission: Prescription Drug Coupon Study

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission developed a report examining the use and impact of prescription drug coupons in Massachusetts. The report concludes that coupons provide financial relief for patients and likely improve medication adherence, leading to better clinical outcomes.

The Effect of Increased Cost-Sharing on Low-Value Service Use

A V-BID program implemented at a large public employer in Oregon was found to have significantly reduced the use of targeted low-value services without increasing overall health care costs. The program increased cost-sharing on several low-value services, such as spinal surgery for pain and advanced imaging services.

Prices and Cost-Sharing For Psychotherapy In-Network Versus Out-of-Network in the United States

Prices and cost-sharing have been found to be substantially higher for out-of-network psychotherapy than in-network psychotherapy. As the United States faces a shortage of behavioral health providers who accept insurance, these price differences could limit access to behavioral health care.

New Study: People with Medicare Supplement Coverage are Two Times Less Likely to Have Problems Paying Medical Bills

A report released by AHIP’s Center for Policy and Research finds that Medicare enrollees with Medicare Supplement coverage were less likely to have trouble paying medical bills compared to those without supplemental coverage. Learn about V-BID’s applications within Medicare from our initiative page.

Please Help Support the V-BID Center

As a non-profit entity, the V-BID Center relies on fundraising to support our research, education, and policy efforts. Please help us continue our work by donating here. We truly appreciate your consideration.