Hospitals embrace bundled payment systems


It is no surprise that the phrase “improve the quality of health care delivered to patients and create cost savings” appears at the top of the consulting company KPMG’s announcement of a recent survey on bundled payments. Cost and quality are the ham and eggs of health care policy, and they seem to pop up everywhere. Still, providers — especially hospitals, the vast majority of survey respondents — seem to find in the use of bundled payments genuine hope for cost/quality advances.

Hospitals see such schemes as the future — one that they are preparing for.

Mark Berg, KPMG’s head of strategy and transformation for health care and life sciences, says that “providers are generating anywhere between 15% and 60% or more of their revenues from risk-based methods, such as bundling. This is much more than even one year ago.” He adds that providers think “bundling can strengthen relations with physician groups.”

Perhaps, but there are also some areas of concern.

The biggest challenge in launching a bundled payment plan, according to 44% of respondents, is aligning physicians and hospitals.

One third feel that control of expenditures throughout the bundle poses the biggest problem; 18% worry about how to keep tabs on performance information.

The survey of 190 representatives of provider institutions was taken during a KPMG webcast last October.

As a provider, how much of your current revenue is risk-based, whether bundled, capitated, or any other payment method?

Where is your organization in making a move toward bundled payments?

Where do you see the largest challenge of bundled payments?

Source: “Why Are Bundled Payments So Attractive for Hospitals and Physician Groups?” October 4, KPMG.