Healthcare systems are implementing value-based payment (VBP) arrangements in efforts to incentivize cost-effective, high quality of care. These arrangements represent a major shift for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers who may need to make changes to their clinical and business operations to meet new demands for quality under value-based contracts. This qualitative study was conducted in the context of New York State’s efforts to implement VBP among SUD treatment providers to understand their experiences, challenges, and needs. Five focus groups were conducted across the State with a total of 68 treatment professionals. Content analysis was conducted and five themes emerged. First, competing demands, limited workforce and technology infrastructure, and perceived lack of information were leading to overwhelmed administrators. Second, confusion and financial fear was being driven by the need for new clinical roles, business practices, and external partnerships. Third, providers were undertaking a number of measures to address workforce needs. Fourth, providers were building new business models and clinical practices. Fifth, providers desired more support and information. As VBP models are being adopted, healthcare systems should identify ways to mitigate challenges and support SUD treatment providers that may have limited resources to address complex workforce, client, and infrastructure needs.
Subst Abuse. 2020. doi: 10.1177/1178221820924026.