Last week, the Health Care Payment Learning Action Network’s (HCP-LAN) Clinical Episode Workgroup released its first white paper on bundled payments focused on elective total hip and total knee arthroscopy. The LAN workgroup brings together national leaders from a wide range of organizations including payers (United Health Care, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Arkansas, and Anthem), providers (orthopedists and primary care physicians along with hospitals and device makers), purchasers, government agencies at both the state and national level, and industry advisors from groups like the Advisory Board and HCI3. Archway’s new Chief Analytics Officer, Ed Bassin, Ph.D., is also a member of the workgroup.
The white paper (https://hcp-lan.org/workproducts/ejr-whitepaper-draft.pdf) is roughly 50 pages long. It reviews current thinking about how to create bundles around hip and knee replacements but does not provide a specific bundle definition. Indeed, its authors aimed high in their recommendations looking more toward an ideal state than focusing on present realities. The authors recognize that each market will present different challenges and that a “one size fits all” approach is unlikely to work very well for anyone.
The open period for comments runs through Monday, March 28. For those with a strong interest in hip and knee replacement bundles, we recommend that you at least take a quick look at the white paper as its recommendations are likely to shape future discussion. If you have any questions, we would encourage you to contact Ed at 617-209-7985, ext. 707 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The LAN workgroup is currently working on two additional white papers, one focused on pregnancy and one focused on cardiac care. Those white papers should be released, in draft form, sometime this spring.