ICYMI: Notes from the field for January 2020

DATE: January 31, 2020

The new year is bringing a lot of reviews of healthcare trends from 2019 and speculation about what 2020 will bring. Meanwhile, new studies and policy changes continue to make headlines.  Here’s what caught our eye in January.

Some savings in bundles — more to come?

  • Several news outlets picked up a new study from Health Affairs, which found that bundled payments reduce spending on joint replacements, but haven’t achieved savings for other conditions. That’s not necessarily as grim as it sounds. It may take up to four years for full savings in Bundled Payments for Care Improvement-Advanced and other programs to materialize.
  • When it comes to bundled payments for spine care, one surgeon urges his colleagues to be patient. Jeffery Wang, MD, of the USC Spine Center at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, hopes that the value potential of bundled payments will overcome the initial pushback from some providers.
  • As CMS looks to its new Oncology bundled model, some industry experts are weighing in with their recommendations. Whether CMS will listen remains to be seen.

Recent developments and possible 2020 trends

Policy news and updates

  • DataGen has long argued for the benefits of value-based care approaches. This month, Managed Healthcare Executive shares some of the administrative benefits that VBC can drive, including lumping transactions together and improving care quality.
  • The 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment rule has been finalized. DataGen analyzed the rule and found some key impacts participants should be aware of.
  • Two states (Maine and Connecticut) have added bundled payments to their state employee health plans, igniting speculation that it will encourage more providers to participate. If successful, these models could help more providers get on board with bundles.