Bundled payments have particular relevance to surgeons. Medicare has used several nationwide programs to implement the payment model for a range of procedures, holding surgeons in group practices and hospitals financially accountable for care episodes defined by a procedure, hospitalization, and 90 days of postacute care. Existing evidence is encouraging, with organizations participating in joint replacement bundles achieving 2% to 4% savings per episode with stable quality.
Both surgeons and payers could benefit from scaling bundled payments to a broader range of procedures and patients. Surgeons can use the payment model to improve care coordination and outcomes. For payers, understanding the impact of different procedures is critical to informing future policy. However, the current design of bundled payment policies may limit surgeons’ participation and impede progress toward these goals.
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Liao JM, Wong SL, Chu D. Going Beyond One Size Fits All in Surgical Bundled Payments. JAMA Surg. Published online September 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.1948
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