The June 2016 issue of Today's Hospitalist, the leading publication for inpatient physicians, extensively quotes Remedy Partners’ Chief Medical Officer Win Whitcomb, MD in How to Succeed with Bundled Payments.
How ‘Home-to-Home Time’ Supports the Goals of Bundled Payments
Addressing the tendency of fee-for-service to promote more spending requires changing the metrics that motivate clinician behavior away from volume as a primary focus. The DRG system, an early example of bundled payment, represents an attempt to solve the problem by paying hospitals a set amount for each hospitalization. DRG-based reimbursement incentivizes hospitals to keep costs down by eliminating unnecessary services and by shortening length of stay (LOS). Indeed, in the 30 years following the introduction of the DRG system, average hospital LOS nearly halved, dropping from 10.0 days in 1983 to 5.1 days in 20131,2.
This fix may have had unintended consequences. After adjusting their practices to discharge patients home as soon as it was safe to do so, some hospitals went a step further by transitioning sicker patients to SNFs rather than keeping those patients in-house until they could safely go home. Over the last three decades, the proportion of Medicare patients leaving a hospital who were discharged to a SNF quadrupled from 5% to 20%3,4. This shifting of days from the acute to the post-acute facility setting has several negative consequences: it adds an extra transition, increases the overall time that patients spend in facilities, and increases the cost to Medicare since SNFs are reimbursed by the day whereas hospitals are paid a lump sum for the patient stay. This last point is likely part of the reason that Medicare’s spending per hospital admission on combined inpatient and post-acute facility stays increased by nearly 10% from 2004 to 20115.
Remedy in the News
Remedy continues to be a strong advocate for the BPCI program and using bundled payment models as a path to healthcare transformation.>
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Chris Garcia Named CEO of Remedy Partners
Remedy Partners, the nation’s leading bundled payment company, has named Chris Garcia its chief executive officer, effective July 12, 2017. Remedy is well-positioned for accelerated growth as the healthcare industry continues to adopt bundled payments as a core value-based payment strategy.
Win Whitcomb, MD, MHM, Remedy’s Chief Medical Officer was invited to speak at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Annual Meeting, the nation’s largest annual gathering of internal medicine doctors, including a dedicated track for hospitalists. More than 6,000 internal medicine physicians, subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals from around the world are attending the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2016, held this year in Washington, D.C. from May 5 - 7.
The Society of Hospital Medicine recognizes 2016 as the Year of the Hospitalist, commemorating 20 years since the term hospitalist was coined and the Society of Hospital Medicine was formed. Bob Wachter and Lee Goldman sparked the latent hospitalist movement with an article titled ‘The emerging role of ‘hospitalists’ in the American Healthcare System’ in an August 1996 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Several weeks later, John Nelson and I, both practicing hospitalists, formed the Society of Hospital Medicine (then incorporated in 1997).