Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bundled Payments Proposal

PPACA (Obamacare) included initiatives to create "bundled payment" plans for Medicare (which would likely encouraged bundled payment for other payers as well).

This week the CMS Innovation Center issued directives encouraging creation of four (4) models of bundling services.

Rather than paying for quantity of services, Medicare wants to pay for quality and outcomes (this can become problematic in elder care).

This could be one PPACA initiative that actually brings some significant results, or the bureaucrats could bungle it. Time will tell. For now providers are on board or even ahead of CMS, racing to get ahead of the changing revenue cycle.

There are significant business complications in making this shift, so we do not expect quick progress or instant success.

Monday, August 1, 2011

ACOs Becoming IPWACOCs?

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are the keystone of the Obamacare efforts to improve quality and control costs.

After considerable initial enthusiasm providers have cooled on the ACO concept, especially as envisioned by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations. Why? Apparently.....

* ACOs are very difficult to organize and assemble
* ACOs are very difficult to operate and manage
* ACOs are unlikely to provide gain sharing dollars higher than new administrative costs

So is there good news? Yes.

Providers appear to be picking various components of the ACO concept and creating new and innovative models for improving care and containing costs.

It is way too early to declare a trend or to make definitive statements, but it appears providers are creating Innovative Projects With ACO Characteristics, or IPWACOCs.