Op-ed: How Hospitals Can Succeed With Episode-Based Bundled Payments

By Tom Graf, M.D., Melissa McCain and Stephanie Hines

The Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers not too long ago printed its closing ruling for the Complete Take care of Joint Substitute Mannequin, designed to check bundled cost and high quality measurement for hip and knee replacements in roughly 800 hospitals throughout 67 metropolitan service areas. Starting April 1, these hospitals shall be accountable for the standard and price of the complete joint substitute care episode, together with affected person restoration as much as 90 days following surgical procedure.

The medical, operational and monetary implications of this mannequin shall be vital for almost all of the preliminary 800 hospitals. Even when your group is just not a part of this primary wave of suppliers, this ruling shouldn’t be dismissed calmly. CMS’ resolution to maneuver ahead with the CJR obligatory bundles initiative, previous to the completion of the Bundled Funds for Care Enchancment Initiative, signifies it views episodic bundling as a significant lever in its transition to value-based care, and one more likely to impression just about all U.S. hospitals within the close to future.

Beneath strain to fulfill the upcoming April 1 deadline, many organizations run the danger of focusing solely on the near-term wants of the CJR prolonged episode – addressing it as a person challenge, remoted from different value-based and medical efficiency enchancment initiatives. As the necessity to deal with extra episodes of care and affected person segments expands over time, an remoted strategy will grow to be taxing on the group and might jeopardize general outcomes. As a substitute, we suggest addressing the CJR bundle instantly whereas thoughtfully connecting your efforts with the event of broader organizational capabilities that may help a complete and scalable program in the long run.

The advantages of a programmatic strategy are broad reaching, together with:

  • Ensures a complete view of initiatives throughout the group, permitting for prioritization of sources
  • Permits for a unified voice from management on the significance of every effort and the way every suits right into a broader imaginative and prescient for value-based care
  • Facilitates a constant strategy to doctor engagement
  • Creates economies of scale and experience

Despite the fact that April 1 is quick approaching, there’s nonetheless time to deal with the requirement whereas protecting the massive image in perspective. The CMS rule includes no compensation necessities in 12 months one and restricted draw back threat in 12 months two. This offers contributors the time wanted to design and execute on a simpler, sustainable and scalable resolution. For suppliers outdoors the scope of the CJR, the main focus now needs to be on proactive improvement of programmatic competencies to arrange for future value-based pursuits.
By taking a structured, purposeful strategy, organizations can use the CJR to construct the muse for a large-scale program. Under are six suggestions for getting began:


Close to-Time period Necessities

Lengthy-Time period Capabilities

Activate organizational management


Convey collectively medical and administrative leaders from throughout the group to collaborate on the event of important medical, operational and monetary capabilities.

  • Management alignment
  • Organizational accountability

Perceive your populations and drivers of efficiency


Look at the variations in monetary, high quality and repair efficiency throughout affected person cohorts (e.g., medical threat, elective versus emergent and knee versus hip) to tell the efficiency enchancment work. As new care processes and protocols are designed, incorporate real-time suggestions mechanisms to watch adherence and rapidly determine when drivers of efficiency are slipping.

  • High quality, satisfaction and utilization reporting
  • Claims information administration
  • Ongoing efficiency administration and information sharing

Have interaction your physicians 


Broaden the forms of physicians concerned in enchancment efforts past the specialist. Have interaction and align hospitalists and first care physicians to deal with the fungible prices embedded within the episode that reside outdoors of the process itself.


Advance your care fashions


Use the event of latest care pathways and protocols for a particular episodic bundle just like the CJR as a chance to construct the competencies for a constant strategy that may be utilized throughout different, related efforts. This entails managing the widespread medical problems for this inhabitants and optimizing care processes to mitigate their threat previous to surgical procedure. On the similar time, discover options to aggressively handle the variation of prices inside your direct management.

  • Scientific protocol and care pathway improvement
  • Care administration and discharge planning
  • Affected person engagement
  • Value and high quality variation administration

Have interaction your group companions


Assemble a high-performing post-acute supplier community, perceive variation in prices throughout suppliers and develop relationships to collaborate with these organizations within the medical protocol and care pathway redesign efforts.

  • Submit-acute supplier community improvement and administration
  • Unbiased supplier collaboration

Align financial incentives


Develop financial incentive distribution fashions to make sure all accountable events are invested within the success of this system. The ensuing mannequin needs to be easy to grasp and adjudicate, incorporate a quality-gating performance and be developed with the understanding that precedents set now will impression future packages.

  • Inner funds’ circulation improvement
  • Doctor gainsharing

Tom Graf is nationwide director of inhabitants well being, Melissa McCain is director of medical transformation and Stephanie Hines is medical transformation apply supervisor at The Chartis Group.

Leave a Comment