HealthDay News – A new way to bundle payments for hip and knee replacements is being tested by Medicare, with a goal of improving quality and cutting costs.

Patients will be monitored more closely in order to improve their recovery and prevent expensive complications, the Associated Press reported.  The bundled episode of care will begin with patient admission for major joint replacement, and ends 90 days after discharge to cover the recovery and rehabilitation period.

The new program will be launched April 1 in 67 metro areas nationwide that have millions of beneficiaries and about 800 hospitals. It will use financial rewards and penalties to promote coordination among doctors, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.

Orthopedic surgeons have some concerns about the initiative, which has the interest of consumer groups, the AP reported. “The overall goal is a good one — they want to see where you can cut the waste out,” said Alexandra Page, MD, a San Diego clinician representing the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, according to the AP

Reference

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model. Updated online March 31, 2016. Accessed 4/1/2016. Source Code.