Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013
This Week's News
This Week's News
Participants announced for CMS bundled care initiative; AMA applauds effort
More than 500 health care organizations are now participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, a pilot program to test how bundling payments for episodes of care can result in more coordinated care for beneficiaries and lower costs for Medicare.
The first participants, announced Jan. 31 by CMS, will begin testing bundled payments for acute care hospital stays as early as April.
The initiative includes four models of bundling payments, varying by the types of health care providers involved and the services included in the bundle. Depending on the model type, CMS will bundle payments for services that beneficiaries receive during an episode of care, encouraging hospitals, physicians, post-acute facilities and other providers to work together to improve health outcomes and lower costs.
As an early supporter of pilots for bundling Medicare payments, the AMA believes this initative, in conjunction with other new models for delivering care to Medicare patients, presents an opportunity to improve the quality of care and reduce costs. In a statement, AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said the AMA is pleased the initiative provides flexibility and a range of models for the selected participants.
"It is important that physicians in a variety of practice types have opportunities to participate in bundled payment program pilots," Dr. Lazarus said. "The AMA urges CMS to provide opportunities for additional practices, which may not have been ready to apply when the program was first announced, to participate. We encourage CMS to offer additional models as the four existing models all involve an inpatient hospital stay."
The AMA continues to work with Congress and the White House to eliminate the broken Medicare physician payment formula and move to implement new ways of delivering care that can improve value for patients. As part of that effort, the AMA is working to shape delivery and payment models to enhance professional satisfaction and practice sustainability, one of its three strategic focus areas.