On December 20, 2016, the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the final models for the next group of mandatory episode-based payments. All hospitals accepting Medicare patients in 98 metropolitan areas will be required to accept bundled payments, which include a fixed payment for hospital care plus services for the 90 days following discharge of patients with acute myocardial infarction and coronary artery bypass graft surgery.1 Even though the future of bundled payments remains uncertain, as illustrated by the recent delay in DHHS implementation of mandatory cardiac bundles until October 2017, episode-based payments are a fundamental component of alternate payment models currently being instituted by Medicare and private payers.
Navathe AS, Song Z, Emanuel EJ. The Next Generation of Episode-Based Payments. JAMA. 2017;317(23):2371–2372. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.5902
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