Study On Cost-Saving Strategy Falls Short On Its Goals
The pilot program that was recently conducted in hospitals in California intended to implement and test a cost-saving strategy for orthopedic procedures have failed to meet its goals. With such results, the hospitals in California are now succumbing to recruitment challenges, regulatory uncertainty, administrative burden and concerns about financial risk, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
The outcome of the program represented a disappointing effort to adopt bundled payments as well as strategies that pays doctors and hospitals one fee for performing a procedure or caring for an illness.
One thing that may have led to the downfall of this of this program is because of the low volume of cases they handled that there was not enough information to draw a conclusion.
Under the proposed bundled payment, health providers, hospitals and doctors would share a fixed payment that covers the average cost of a bundle of services. The aim is for health providers to work together to eliminate unnecessary care as well as to improve the quality of treatment.
Recommendations for the improvement of future bundled payment projects include ensuring sufficient volume, keeping the definitions of bundles simple and finding ways to manage the financial risk for health care providers.
Projects including bundled payments as a strategy to control the costs of health care have rapidly grown since the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Many private health plans are currently experimenting with the said approach and federal officials have organized national payment initiative involving Medicare enrollees.