Fed up with high hospital costs and limited competition, Santa Barbara County sends willing employees out of town for better bargains. Local governments are slowly joining private employers in aggressively seeking out the best care for the lowest price.
A study found that Medicare’s bundled payments model for joint replacement could save the government billions of dollars without harming patient care.
The idea is this: Negotiate a flat price with a few hospitals to cover surgery, physical therapy and certain other post-op treatments. Companies save money and hospitals gain patients.
The government expected accountable care organizations to save Medicare millions by now, but the program is falling short of targets, records show. KHN also has performance data for all 353 ACOs in 2014.