Rich Bajner, Guidehouse Managing Director comments on Baptist Health System and the CMS’ acute care episode (ACE) demonstration project in the HealthLeaders’ article, “Get Comfortable with Bundles."
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has mandated that hospitals in 67 markets participate in bundled payments for hip and knee replacements. All as a part of an acceleration in the transition to risk-based payment arrangements.”
Baptist Health System was one of the first participants in CMS’ ACE demonstration project, aimed at testing the feasibility of bundled payments for cardio and orthopedic procedures.
As an advisor, Guidehouse assisted Baptist with setting up the program’s infrastructure. According to Bajner, “It was a pilot to Medicare. But with an organization like Baptist, it’s very real.” Bajner indicated that, “One revelation of the project was how much care and cost existed outside the walls of the hospital. In fact, one key question for participation in the ortho bundle, and the subsequent seven or so bundles Baptist has added since, was whether the hospital and the resources developed in conjunction with the surgeons would be enough to manage care effectively in a post-acute environment without owning various pieces of the care continuum.”