Mixed Results for Medicare’s Bundled Payment Program

Nothing conclusive can be drawn from data about the first year of CMS’ voluntary Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, according to a report the agency issued Monday. “There have been modest reductions in Medicare episode payments for select clinical episode groups with isolated instances of quality declines and fewer instances of increased quality,” the report states.

The CMS study notes that results are based on 94 cites that attended to more than 58,000 episodes of care during the first year of the program. “We remain limited in our ability to estimate the impact of the initiative … because of insufficient sample size and the limited time the initiative has been underway.”