Bundled payments, a type of alternative payment model in which payments for all services provided in a care episode are linked, represents a promising approach to improving the coordination and efficiency of care. In December 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), building on a 3-year-old voluntary bundled payment program, announced new mandatory bundled payment models for selected hospitals providing acute myocardial infarction care and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The mandatory cardiac bundles were to start in 2018, but in late 2017, CMS released a rule cancelling the program.1 In this Viewpoint we review the rationale for mandatory bundled payments and argue that their cancellation was a step in the wrong direction for pursuing a health care system that focuses on value and not volume.
Wadhera RK, Yeh RW, Joynt Maddox KE. The Rise and Fall of Mandatory Cardiac Bundled Payments. JAMA. 2018;319(4):335–336. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.19205
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