Paying for artificial intelligence in medicine
By Ravi B. Parikh & Lorens A. Helmchen
npj Digital Medicine | 20 May 2022
Over the past 7 years, regulatory agencies have approved hundreds of artificial intelligence (AI) devices for clinical use. In late 2020, payers began reimbursing clinicians and health systems for each use of select image-based AI devices. The experience with traditional medical devices has shown that per-use reimbursement may result in the overuse use of AI. We review current models of paying for AI in medicine and describe five alternative and complementary reimbursement approaches, including incentivizing outcomes instead of volume, utilizing advance market commitments and time-limited reimbursements for new AI applications, and rewarding interoperability and bias mitigation. As AI rapidly integrates into routine healthcare, careful design of payment for AI is essential for improving patient outcomes while maximizing cost-effectiveness and equity.