The Affordable Care Act didn’t conceive the idea of orienting healthcare delivery and payment around demonstrated value, but it was the midwife that finally brought value-based care into the real world and helped make it the irresistible force it is today.

Like prospective payment for hospitals, relative-value payment formulas for physicians and other past Medicare reimbursement schemes, the ACA’s experimentation with accountable care organizations, shared savings and inclusive payment for bundles of services compelled healthcare providers and payers to take on a new vision for care delivery. Ultimately it called for significantly different, substantial investments in information technology to support new approaches.

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