What Hospital Leaders Need to Know for Bundled Payments to Actually Work

by Marty Stempniak H&HN Staff Writer

Experts lay out some of the lessons learned in moving to the new payment model.

As hospitals move to a payment model that rewards value over volume, many experts believe that bundling together one payment for an entire episode is a essential step in the process. Sometimes, however, it can be challenging to get docs to see the entire chain of events that a patient is subjected to before and after surgery. Leaders from a couple of such successful bundle programs gathered to chew over some of the hurdles to success during a chat convened by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement last week.

If providers want to excel in these new value-based payment models, they need to focus on the outcomes that matter most for patients, and understand what’s happening during the entire episode of care, says Mark Jarrett, M.D., chief quality officer and senior vice president of North Shore-LIJ Health System, in Great Neck, N.Y.

“From the physician’s viewpoint, the hardest thing for them — especially procedure-oriented physicians such as surgeons — is to think in terms of the big picture. To think of, not only what occurs in the hospital, but what occurs across the whole continuum of care,” says Jarrett, who made the previously mentioned car analogy. “They can’t just think in terms of the medicine of it, but really it’s about the total patient.”