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CMS Announces Bundled Payments Initiative

January 31, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, which will include more than 500 participating organizations. The initiative, linked to the Affordable Care Act, will have these organizations test how bundling payments for episodes of care can result in more coordinated care for beneficiaries and lower costs for Medicare.

“The objective of this initiative is to improve the quality of healthcare delivery for Medicare beneficiaries, while reducing program expenditures, by aligning the financial incentives of all providers,” acting CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement.

The initiative will include four models of bundling payments, and it will be dependent on the type of care providers involved and the services included in the bundle. CMS will bundle payments for services beneficiaries during an episode of care, encouraging hospitals, physicians, post-acute facilities, and other providers to work together to improve health outcomes and lower costs. Providers participating in the initiative will provide CMS a discount from expected payments for the episode of care, and work with partners to reduce readmissions, duplicative care, and complications to lower costs through improvement.

In addition, CMS announced more than 100 participants partnering with over 400 provider organizations, have begun to receive new data on care patterns. They’re also engaged in shared learning in how to improve care.

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