Medicare finalizes cuts to value-based healthcare programs


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday finalized cuts to a trio of bundled payment pilot programs aimed at lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes.

The federal health insurer cut the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, or CJR, effectively in half, from 67 geographic areas participating to 34, meaning about 470 hospital participants instead of 800. That cuts the expected savings from the CJR program from $295 million to $189 million, according to CMS.

The agency also finalized the cancellation of its Episode Payment Model and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model, which were slated to launch Jan. 1, 2018, claiming that the moves gives it more room to design and test ways to improve quality and care coordination. The pilot programs were estimated to save Medicare $170 million over five years.

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