Newtown, CT – September 23, 2011
Earlier this week, Andy Webber and his team at NBCH hosted a webinar on the CMMI Bundled Payment Pilot – Valinda Rutledge, who is heading up this important effort at the Innovation Center, reviewed the different models available to potential applicants, and I was struck again by the significant flexibility of the program. There is a downside to having too many options; it can sometimes lead to analysis paralysis. Last week we unveiled a simple document on how providers and others can organize themselves to become applicants, and this week we're releasing additional tools and resources. First, we've created a special section on our website that contains information to help potential applicants think through the decisions they need to make. We've assembled some of our knowledge into a generic case study that illustrates how a health plan, working with a community hospital and community physicians, can facilitate a bundled payment agreement. We've also assembled a broader toolkit on how to approach bundled payment for total knee replacements. And finally, we've created a series of instructions on how to modify our freeware to analyze Medicare Part A and B claims, select promising episodes, and arrive at a price.
What this means to you – there's no doubt there are challenges ahead in getting organized for this pilot effort, and we've tried our best in a short time to get potential applicants the tools they need. And we know that many are hard at work getting their letters of intent in order. However, there are others, as we heard on the NBCH call, that are currently "too busy working on clinical collaboration" to apply. Really? Well here's a news flash for all those "too busy": Incentives drive function, and function drives form. So if you're working on clinical collaboration in a fee-for-service environment, the only functions and forms that will emerge are the same that plague health care today. Put simply, you've got it ass-backwards. Folks, don't let yourselves be fooled by these pretenders, and don't let up on the pressure to have them deliver real value. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the fakers are busy finding excuses, and the real deals are filling out their LOIs. We'll soon know which is which.
Francois de Brantes
Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.