Adolescence is a period of significant physical, mental, and emotional development. It is also a time when young people may experience the onset of behavioral health conditions or engage in risk-taking behavior. An effective tool to address adolescent wellness is the annual primary care well visit, though it is underutilized. When young people do attend these visits, they may not receive routine screenings or referrals that address their behavioral health or social needs. Financial incentives, including value-based payment (VBP) strategies, can improve adolescent care delivery and wellness by encouraging providers to offer more holistic care that treats physical health concerns and addresses mental health, substance use, and health-related social needs.

This brief, made possible by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, identifies five opportunities to incentivize high quality care for adolescents: (1) linking payment incentives to adolescent wellness visits; (2) supporting and incentivizing providers to build rapport with adolescents and their families; (3) promoting multidisciplinary and integrated care; (4) incentivizing providers to address adolescents’ behavioral health and health-related social needs; and (5) pooling money from different sources to support adolescent wellness.

Posted: August 2023