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Medicare Bundled Payments for Joint Replacements Incentivize Care Coordination and Cut Costs

Bundled payment models can push Medicare and health system costs down considerably without sacrificing quality of care, according to new research from Amol Navathe, MD, PhD. The study, the first to combine hospital cost and Medicare claims data to identify drivers of joint replacement cost savings – evaluated costs and care quality at for hip and knee replacements performed from 2008-2015 at the five-hospital Baptist Health System (BHS) network in San Antonio, Texas. Results, published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, show that the average cost dropped 20.8 percent while the effect on quality of care was unchanged or improved. Interviewed by Kaiser Health News, Navathe described the impact of bundled payments on clinician behavior: “Preplanning, setting of expectations and communicating up-front is resource intensive, when they have the incentive to do that they were willing to expend the extra resources to make that happen.”
Featured in: Kaiser Health News,, Science Daily, News Medical, Stat On Call, Healio, McKnight’s, Nephrology News, Managed Care Magazine, Medscape, Benefits Pro, Becker’s Hospital Review, Fierce Healthcare, Beloit Daily News, Managed Healthcare Executive