Do Bundled Payment Programs in Joint Replacement Care Hold Promise for Improving Patient Outcomes?

Research paper by Tobin T Lassen, Lee L Revere, Desta D Hailemariam, Patrick J PJ Hogan, Eduardo E Hernandez

Indexed on: 19 Sep '21Published on: 14 Dec '19Published in: Journal for Healthcare Quality


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center offers two alternative payment models for joint replacement: the voluntary Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) model and the mandatory Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model. As CMS considers methods for cost reduction, research is needed to understand patient-level outcomes and organizational-level success factors. A retrospective cross-sectional study of hospitals was performed, using regression models to evaluate an aggregate patient satisfaction score, complication rates, and operational differences among BPCI, CJR, and nonparticipating hospitals. Results show that BPCI hospitals received significantly better patient satisfaction scores (88.6) than CJR hospitals (86.0), but complication rates were not significantly different between CJR and BPCI hospitals (2.83 and 2.77, respectively). Factors associated with BPCI participation include academic affiliation, a Northeast region locale, and having a higher CMS efficiency score. Thus, requiring more hospitals to participate in CMS-bundled payment programs as a federal policy may not be the optimal way to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. Rather, the CJR and BPCI programs should be further studied, and the results generalized for use by nonparticipating hospitals to encourage preparation and participation in CMS value-based initiatives.