January 3, 2019

Medicare’s bundled payments for joint replacements show moderate savings

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

In the first 2 years of Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program, there was a modest reduction in spending per procedure without an increase in complication rates, this study finds.

Comparing costs associated with 280,161 joint replacement procedures in 803 hospitals required to participate in the CJR program with 377,278 procedures in 962 hospitals that did not participate in the program, researchers found an $812 savings per hip- or knee-replacement procedure, or a 3.1% reduction in costs.

The program also was associated with a 5.9% reduction in use of skilled nursing care after hospitalization, and complication rates did not increase.

This study adds to the growing body of evidence that bundled payment models reduce spending without sacrificing quality of care, the researchers say.

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