Jumping right into a bundled payment initiative without thorough evaluation of how your organization might perform would be foolhardy. Hospital leaders should take advantage of the time lag between the launch of a pilot project and its possible full implementation to evaluate how various reimbursement models might affect their viability.
Fortunately, there are several ways to get your feet wet on bundled payments without taking risk. For one, the Premier healthcare alliance has its Bundled Payment Collaborative, which involves more than 50 hospitals in 18 states. The program will help hospitals and health systems redesign care without the risk-taking that's involved in joining one of the pilot projects (there are four under CMS, with varying levels of immersion, risk and a choice between prospective and retrospective payment models).
Under the Premier program, launched July 23, participants will share best practices and data with other members, and focus on improving care and reducing costs in hip/knee replacement, lumbar spine fusion, coronary artery bypass graft, heart valve replacement, percutaneous coronary intervention, and colon resection.