Experts See ‘Lump Sums’ In Health Spending’s FutureLos Angeles Times/Dallas Morning News: Some elite California hospitals will begin "bundling" their fees for joint replacement surgeries into a single lump sum in an attempt to rethink the current pricing system that leaves "hospitals and doctors charging separately for their services," driving "up costs while leaving no one to coordinate decisions about patient care." Experts will watch the experiment and others like it that are already in action in Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma for a glimpse into the future of health care payments. The health law requires the federal government to explore more such programs (Helfand, 4/28).
The Associated Press/Bloomberg Business Week: Another Medicare bundling program, meanwhile, is cutting into kidney dialysis provider DaVita's profits. The reason for a 2 percent decline in share prices "include the prospect of lower reimbursement rates, from a pending rule on Medicare's bundling of payments to a rate cut from the Veterans Administration" (4/28). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.