The healthcare system in the US operates under three primary reimbursement models, each of which targets a different aspect of service delivery and has specific issues connected to its nature. The fee-for-service system implies that a patient has to pay for each medical procedure, test, or treatment separately upon receiving the service. The downside of this approach is that with conditions that require long-term treatment or chronic diseases where individuals have to monitor their health constantly, the expenses can add up resulting in significant payments, which differs it from other models that will be discussed. Another major problem is the incentive to provide additional services that will increase the revenue of a healthcare establishment.
The accountable care model is more efficient in this regard because a patient only pays for a successful treatment outcome. The significant implications are that a medical institution is responsible for the quality of its services and efficient coordination of care, which is the primary difference from the fee-for-service model and similarity with the patient-centered approach. The physicians have to provide evidence suggesting that their services benefited the patient and correspond with the set targets. The patient-centered model requires a healthcare organization to deliver value-based services. The single program that exists across all payment systems in the healthcare continuum is that it incentivizes providers to raise costs and charge patients more, which results in inaccessibility of the services by some citizens and avoidance of necessary diagnostics by some. In essence, these reimbursement models, although some emphasize the result, burden patients with high costs.