Hospitals Brace for Cool-Down of Value-Based Care

Hospitals are concerned a recent proposal to cancel several Medicare payment models could slow the health-care industry’s transition to value-based care.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced earlier this month it was seeking to cancel its mandatory episodic payment models and cardiac rehabilitation incentive payment program and make drastic changes to bundled payments for joint replacements.

Bundled payments are part of a larger value-based approach to make Medicare payments based on results and outcomes instead of the number of services rendered. Hospital groups, whose reaction to the proposed rule was mixed, fear that impeding value-based care could increase Medicare costs and affect patient outcomes.

“If the CMS doesn’t revisit this soon, then the shift to value-based care is going to suffer,” Janis Orlowski, chief health-care officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, told me. “If nothing additional comes out in the next few months, there will be an impact.”

The agency did not announce plans for alternatives for the canceled episodic payment models and the cardiac rehabilitation incentive payment program. Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs at Premier Inc., a group purchasing organization, said his organization was disappointed.

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