Huzzah for HHS Nominee Azar!

We applaud HHS secretary nominee Alex Azar for certain comments earlier this month. In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Azar supported mandatory bundled payment models in Medicare.

We wholeheartedly agree. Mandatory bundled payment models are the logical next step by CMS based on findings of its Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Released in November 2017, an evaluation of Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative found that for the highest volume clinical episodes, provider participation in the model reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction and recovery.

Results of bundled payment initiatives in the private sector are just as encouraging. Plan sponsors typically save 30-50 percent per surgery on average when employees schedule surgeries through BridgeHealth’s value-based, bundled payment surgery solution instead of through employers’ managed care plans. After monthly access fees and employee incentives, plan sponsors enjoy a positive ROI averaging 4:1.

Just as importantly, workers benefit from the highest-quality care by the centers of excellence in BridgeHealth’s program. Postoperative complications and readmissions are rare, and patient outcomes are excellent.

We at BridgeHealth are encouraged by Azar’s senate testimony. We enthusiastically endorse a move by CMS to mandatory bundled payment models that can improve the cost and quality of healthcare for the 44 million Americans in Medicare.

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