‘Navigating the Future of Bundled Payments’
With over 300 attendees, we were thrilled to host our largest-ever National Innovation Collaborative in Atlanta, GA from November 16–17. The invitation-only event focused on issues of health policy and care redesign for bundled payments and value-based healthcare. This year’s forward-looking theme, apropos to the soon-to-be released rule for Medicare’s next large bundled payment program and the rise of commercial bundles, was ‘Navigating the Future of Bundled Payments’.
Keynote speaker Thomas Lee, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Press Ganey, kicked things off talking about ‘Five Ideas’ – Strategy, Competition, Social Capital, Social Network Science, and Grit – and their relevance to healthcare. “As difficult as our times are, healthcare is headed in the right direction—a higher value healthcare system,” Dr. Lee remarked.
The second keynote address, delivered by Harold Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, emphasized the need for current Medicare bundle programs to evolve beyond procedures or episodes to encompass ‘Condition-Based Payments’ so providers, physicians in particular, can “capture the full range of avoidable spending opportunities.” He closed by suggesting the best path forward for our healthcare system is a “provider designed, patient-centered payment model,” which, interestingly, closely parallels the episode-based benefit design health insurance products currently being developed by Remedy Partners.
A presentation by Remedy Partners’ Executive Chairman Steve Wiggins, titled, ’Beyond Medicare: Building a Nationwide Bundled Payment Network’ focused on the growing demand for commercial health plan bundled payments. He described the diversification efforts underway to leverage Remedy Partners network development and management expertise to serve non-Medicare payers of healthcare services. Remedy Partners enablement platforms help payers administer bundled payment programs and oversee episodic health insurance benefit plans. Additionally, they help providers manage bundled payment contracts by offering software, analytics and services.
Day two of the National Innovation Collaborative began with remarks from Chris Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of Remedy Partners, who shared the cumulative results of our provider partners’ experience in the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) program. Remedy Partners’ program-wide, quarter-over-quarter gross savings rates, growing steadily over time, are now close to eight percent. Chris remarked, “the longer you are in the program, the better your results.” Particularly important were the dramatic improvements in three key performance levers: Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) discharges, SNF Length of Stay and Hospital Readmissions.
Alexandre Laberge, PhD, Acting Deputy Director of the Patient Care Models Group from The Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), described its recent request for information about a new direction based on patient choice, marketplace competition, and benefit design based on price transparency. He stated that CMS will soon be announcing a new voluntary bundled payment program, ‘BPCI Advanced’, with “current considerations” including prospective pricing, risk adjustment, and quality measurement. He added the new program will qualify as an advanced Alternative Payment Model under MACRA (The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act).
Networking is always among the most valuable features for attendees at the Collaborative. This year’s event provided numerous opportunities, including a dinner reception, a breakfast, and an extended break on the first day where Remedy Partners exhibited various elements of its operations including Episode Connect™, Performance Networks, Commercial Offerings, and Analytics and Performance Reporting.
A series of lively, interactive panel discussions rounded out the program, covering topics including: Empowering Physicians to Lead Change, Commercial Bundle Programs, Technology and Value, Engaging Post-Acute Care providers in Performance Improvement, and how optimizing functional mobility is key to success in bundled payments.
Thank you to all who participated and attended the Fourth Annual National Innovation Collaborative. Your contributions are helping to chart a course toward better healthcare for everyone.
Please be sure to check back throughout the next several months as we will be featuring blogs on a variety of topics addressed at the National Innovation Collaborative.