A recent analysis shines a positive light on value-based care models such as federal hip and knee replacement bundled payment programs.

Bundled payments increased quality metrics and lowered costs without increasing the volume of episodes of care, analysts said in defending the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement program.

Their paper, “Debunking the Argument that the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Program (BPCI) Contributed to Higher Procedure Volumes” was published by The Altarum Institute.

Primary authors were Patrick Conway, M.D., deputy administrator for innovation & quality and the chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and a pair of Altarum researchers, who examined Medicare Part A Claims from 2011 to 2015.

“Our study definitively disputes any assertion that the BPCI-participating hospitals contributed to a higher volume of procedures as a result of that participation. In fact, the opposite is true,” they wrote. “The rate of increase in the volume of procedures was significantly lower than in the rest of the country.” 

The Altarum report said providers that went into BPCI in October 2013 and January 2014 had a rate of increase below baseline. They also had performance years significantly lower than the national rate.