An Ensocare "Deep Dive Series" - Part II: Recapping a Year of Change
Justine Olsen, Healthcare Strategy Analyst, explores the 2017 initiatives that led to the new Bundled Payments for Care Improvement program to be rolled out in 2018.
Part I: View "What is BPCI Advanced"
In 2017, we saw a lot of change. There were two highly anticipated bundled payment models that were set to be implemented in 2018. One was an orthopedic bundle and the other was a cardiac care bundle. And, in late 2017, we did learn that those programs were cancelled, they weren’t going into implementation.
Now, heading into 2018 we also learned that a very popular bundled payment program, the comprehensive joint replacement model, was actually being rolled back in terms of mandatory participation. So mandatory participation in that program is now about half what it had been slated for 2018.
Now, what that indicates is that we know that former DHHS Secretary Tom Price had been very interested in taking a hard look at CMMI initiatives and the impact or undue burden they may have on providers, namely physicians. And the decision to roll back some of those programs corresponds with that concern.
Now, toward the end of 2017, there was a transition in leadership, that position at DHHS became vacant and there was a lot of unknown in the industry regarding what would be the future of bundled payments, as well as just alternative payment models in general. So what would be the future of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation? The release of BPCI Advanced is really a good indication that there is some that will allow providers to have some confidence that these programs will be continuing and coupled with this week’s announcement that we have a new DHHS secretary, Alex Azar, we have some additional confidence that these programs will be around to stay.
During his essentially vetting process, we did learn that now-Secretary Azar does have interest in these programs continuing and even made some comments that there may be some interest in mandatory participation so, in terms of a strategic planning perspective, we know that at the very least voluntary participation in these types of bundles will continue.