Don't Bungle Bundled Payments

Philip Betbeze, July 27, 2012

The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, a three-year pilot program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offers a challenge to participating hospitals and health systems: Instead of issuing multiple payments to multiple providers surrounding a single episode of care, accept one payment for a variety of services performed under that care episode.

The thought is that doctors, hospitals and other affiliated care providers will be incented to coordinate patient care better because it better aligns financial incentives with patient care.  

And bundled payments, under which organizations can share any savings between the payment and the cost of care, will also reduce complications and cut the cost to Medicare of paying for the services associated with a particular episode of care, for example, in a total knee replacement surgery and its follow-up care.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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