A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that implementing bundled payments greatly reduces the cost of joint replacement surgeries.
The researchers observed 3,942 patients between 2008 and 2015 who received lower extremity joint replacement procedures, and analyzed hospitals’ spending under the bundled payment program. Researchers found a decrease of $5,577 per episode (20.8%) even while throughout the time period, Medicare payments for joint replacement increased by 5%.
The study’s authors also noted a decreasing number of emergency room visits, along with readmissions:
Readmissions and emergency department visits declined 1.4% (P = .14) and 0.9% (P = .98), respectively, while episodes with prolonged length of stay decreased 67.0% (P < .001). Patient illness severity remained stable.