House bill would offer lump-sum Medicare payments to hospitals, post-acute providers

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Skilled nursing facilities and other post-acute providers would be eligible to participate in a Medicare bundled payment system proposed in a House of Representatives bill unveiled Thursday.

The “Comprehensive Care Payment Innovation Act” would provide a lump sum to cover a Medicare beneficiary's complete episode of care for certain procedures. The bill specifies six procedures, including hip/knee joint replacement, and gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the ability to expand the list.

The bundled payment would cover the period from three days prior to a hospital inpatient admission to 90 days after hospital discharge.

The premise of a bundled payment is that it incentives providers to better coordinate care to keep costs down and share in savings. The new bill stipulates that participating providers would have to meet certain quality measures to receive these payments.

Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Richard E. Neal (D-MA) introduced the bill. Click here to access the full text of the legislation.