Introduction: Traditional payment models reward volume rather than value. Moving away from reimbursing separate providers to network-level reimbursement is assumed to support structural changes in health care organizations that are necessary to improve patient care. This scoping review evaluates the performance of care networks that have adopted network-level payment models.
Methods: A scoping review of the empirical literature was conducted according to the five-step York framework. We identified indicators of performance, categorized them in four categories (quality, utilization, spending and other consequences) and scored whether performance increased, decreased, or remained stable due to the payment model.
Results: The 76 included studies investigated network-level capitation, disease-based bundled payments, pay-for-performance and blended global payments. The majority of studies stem from the USA. Studies generally concluded that performance in terms of quality and utilization increased or remained stable. Most payment models were associated with improved spending performance. Overall, our review shows that network-level payment models are moderately successful in improving network performance.
Discussion/conclusion: As health care networks are increasingly common, it seems fruitful to continue experimenting with reimbursement models for health care networks. It is also important to broaden the scope to not only scrutinize outcomes, but also the contexts and mechanisms that lead to certain outcomes.