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Surgical Innovation
September 2015

Bundling Payments for Episodes of Surgical Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Dow Division of Health Services Research, Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(9):905-906. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.1236

The Affordable Care Act is accelerating a shift away from the standard fee-for-service model and toward value-based payments in the Medicare program. Episode-based bundled payments have emerged in this context as an alternative reimbursement model. By paying groups of providers (ie, hospitals, physicians, and post–acute care facilities) a single target price for all services across a defined episode of care, many believe that bundled payments will create stronger incentives to eliminate unnecessary spending while maintaining high quality of care.