KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Some Physicians Who Were Initially Skeptical Of Bundled-Payment Program Coming Around

Administrators and physicians say they're impressed with how the programs have engaged physicians to produce lower costs and better outcomes.

Modern Healthcare: Bundled-Payment Joint Replacement Programs Winning Over Surgeons
[S]ome experts fear HHS' recent decision to shrink the CJR program to 34 from 67 markets and shelve plans for two mandatory bundled-payment programs for cardiac care may slow such collaborations. They say the financial rewards to physicians for reducing costs and improving quality for entire episodes of care—which can amount to a 50% bonus in the BPCI program—are strong motivators to get them engaged. They hope that HHS and the CMS at least maintain and expand voluntary bundled-payment initiatives. (Meyer, 10/7)

In related news —

Modern Healthcare: Plan​ To​ Scrap​ Bundled​ Payments​ Will​ Get​ Industry​ Scrutiny
Beyond loosening requirements for physicians to contend with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, CMS officials are looking to free hospitals and doctors from bundled-payment initiatives. The agency in August proposed canceling mandatory bundled-payment initiatives for heart attacks, bypass surgeries and hip and femur fractures that were set to begin in January. Industry groups will be busy this week putting the final touches on comments to the agency, which are due Oct. 16. ... While industry groups have generally opposed the mandatory nature of these programs, there wasn't unanimous support for axing them entirely when the proposed rule was issued. (Weinstock, 10/7)

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