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CMS to cancel 2 bundled-payment models, but data encourage providers to have voluntary ones

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Todd Johnson, CEO of HealthLoop, has written a very good description in Med City News of the Medicare bundled-payments situation. He starts: “While last week’s announcement that CMS plans to cancel two bundled payment models and reduce the geographic area required to participate in a third is not necessarily a surprise, it’s an unfortunate miscalculation by the current administration. We know this for two reasons:

  1. “Bundled payments work (and we have extensive data to prove it).
  2. “Bundled payments save American taxpayers money.”

He continues:

“This latest decision by the administration might indicate that forward momentum in payment reform is coming to a grinding halt. While we appear to be lacking the leadership to move this initiative forward, we’re certainly not moving backwards. The administration knows that bundled payments work — research indicates that if every hospital in the nation employed these payment models, Medicare would save $2 billion annually — which is why they’ve made the decision for providers to participate in voluntary bundles, as opposed to mandatory.

‘Additionally, private insurers, employers, and providers have all expressed interest in sticking with value-based care as they’ve seen the results first hand, and they believe that the reduction in costs and improvement in quality are reason enough to push ahead.

“It’s going to come down to the providers who believe in innovation, progress, and better patient care to lead the pack on bundled payments. The findings have revealed substantial cost savings and better quality outcomes. There’s an opportunity for providers to accept the challenge and willingly participate regardless of whether they’ve been mandated to or not. Our partners have shown better financial performance under bundles vs. traditional fee-for-service and see this as another way to further differentiate from their competitors…”

To read all of this commentary, please hit this link.

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