PFS Guidance: Briefs and Reports


Rethinking the opioid crisis

The opioid crisis is widely recognized as a difficult policy challenge but the reasons why it is difficult and the paths to overcoming those difficulties are less easily understood. As a result, policymakers risk spending limited public resources on potentially ineffective or even counterproductive efforts. Adopting the perspective of pay for success (PFS) – an outcomes-oriented funding model – helps to mitigate these risks and facilitates the application of sound public policy and administration principles.

Pay for Success in Health Care

Health-related PFS efforts to date are largely still conceptual or in planning. Of the 19 PFS projects that have launched in the United States since 2013, only one, the Nurse-Family Partnership project in South Carolina, includes health care system funding as part of the PFS transaction. No projects that have launched include Medicare or private health insurance funding. However, many PFS projects currently in development are designed to repay investors through health care system savings.


Assessing Criminal Justice Programs for Pay for Success Financing

The Pay for Success – Criminal Justice assessment tool (PFS-CJ) is a scoring rubric designed to help PFS planners assess a program’s suitability for PFS and identify specific elements of the program that need to change to become PFS-ready. The tool includes criminal justice-relevant examples showing how lessons learned from the first generation of criminal justice PFS projects in the US can combine with Urban’s broader PFS assessment tool to create a useful litmus test for identifying future PFS projects. 


Pay for Success and the Crisis Intervention Team Model

Policymakers and community stakeholders across the United States are increasingly recognizing the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model as a valuable approach for improving law enforcement interactions with people with mental health issues. While initial costs of implementing CIT models are low, creative solutions are needed to fund longer-term enhancements. Pay for success (PFS) has strong potential as a means of funding the components that will allow CIT models to achieve their full potential.


Using Pay for Success in Criminal Justice Projects

Federal, state, and local jurisdictions across the country are recognizing pay for success (PFS) as a tool for financing and tackling criminal justice issues in their communities. In fact, the criminal justice space may be uniquely well-suited to PFS, addressing such issues as workforce development for system-involved individuals, opioid misuse treatment, and child welfare.