Emergency departments (ED) are commonly singled out in the effort to reduce healthcare costs. In the current fee-for-service (FFS) payment system, EDs are paid for each individual service provided. But many alternative payment models (APMs) aim to change this trend by shifting payment away from volume and intensity, instead moving toward providing a per-case or per-person payment.

A goal with these APMs is to support non-ED physicians to take steps to avoid ED utilization and inpatient admissions. For example, patient-centered medical homes enable primary care providers to set up care teams to provide more patient support, chronic care management, extended office hours, and better care coordination.