“For as much as President Trump has pushed to repeal Obamacare, the administration is quietly moving ahead with several programs aimed to slow health care spending in Medicare and Medicaid. It turns out, as health care keeps gobbling up more and more of our economy, controlling costs is something everybody agrees is a problem.
Tucked into the 900-plus pages of the Affordable Care Act is a provision that created something called the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
“The Innovation Center was specifically charged with trying to develop new ways to pay for care that increase value,” said Dr. Amol Navathe, a University of Pennsylvania economist. “When we think of value here, we are thinking better patient outcomes for lower costs.”
In recent years, the Center has rolled out several programs designed to pay for value, rather than volume.
One is the bundled payment program, where providers keep spending below a fixed amount for a procedure, like a hip or knee replacement. Any savings is shared between providers and Medicare, but hospitals or doctors pick up the tab if they go over budget. Nearly 550 physician practices and hospitals have signed up, including at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.
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