Medscape pointed out that Tom Price, MD, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the HHS, hasn't supported Medicare's initiatives on bundled payments in the past.
However, CMS just approved four mandatory bundled payments allowing hospitals and physicians to share in savings when they beat target prices and meet quality standards or pay-up if they go over budget.
The Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement initiative took effect April 1, 2016, and required select hospitals to participate; it was the first model to make participation mandatory. The new bundles — for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft surgery and cardiac rehab after heart attacks or heart surgery — are scheduled to launch on July 1, 2017, in select regions and require hospital participation.
CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation heads the new bundled payment models, but House Republicans have previously targeted the center for repeal, according to the report. Dr. Price, as a member of the House of Representatives, signed a letter opposing CMMI's mandatory bundled payments in October.
What will happen with bundled payments?
Jack Lewin, MD, president and CEO of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, told Medscape Dr. Price could preserve bundled payments but make them voluntary in the future.