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Studies Highlight Challenges in Using Bundled Payments to Achieve Cost Savings, Better Quality Care

Modern Healthcare writes of two studies published in Health Affairs that highlight the challenges facing federal policymakers, hospitals and physicians in using bundled payments to achieve cost savings and better quality care on a wide range of medical and surgical episodes.

One study in Health Affairs found Medicare’s voluntary bundled-payment program for hip and knee replacements reduced spending by 1.6% from 2013 to 2016 — less than previously estimated — with no overall change in quality. The other new Health Affairs study reported that lower extremity joint replacement is the only type of clinical episode in Medicare bundled-payment programs that has produced savings so far. The meta-analysis found no evidence of reduced spending or quality improvement for other clinical episodes.

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