A Medicare bundled payment program for hip and knee replacement seems to be saving money, according to a study in JAMA. But that might not impress President-elect Trump’s nominee to head Health and Human Services. Rep. Tom Price doesn’t like the program, calling it an experiment with the health of beneficiaries. More to the point, Price doesn’t like the ACA and the program is under the auspices of an ACA creation: the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
Researchers looked at Medicare claims data for 3,942 patients receiving joint replacement surgery from 2008 to mid-2015. They found a decrease of $5.577 (20.8%) in total spending per episode. “Most of the hospital savings came from implants and supplies and most of the post-acute care savings came from decreased use of institutional care,” the study states.
Not helping those who argue for a continuation of the program is the fact that one of the study’s authors is Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the creators of the ACA.