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September 07, 2016

AAOS Comments on House Budget Hearing and CMMI Bundled Payment Programs

Washington, DC—The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) commends Chairman Tom Price, MD (R-GA) and Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) for holding today’s House Budget Committee hearing on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and its real-world implications. AAOS submitted a letter for the record, expressing particular interest in the hearing because of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundled payment model initiated by CMMI earlier this year. The model, which is the first ever mandatory model issued by CMMI, targets the most common inpatient surgeries for Medicare beneficiaries: hip and knee replacements, both elective and non-elective, as well as other lower extremity joint replacement procedures.
 
“While AAOS supports the efforts of all stakeholders to develop and evaluate payment methodologies that will incentivize coordination of care among providers and help curb health care inflation, we have expressed to CMS our concern about serious unintended consequences for Medicare beneficiaries and physicians with these mandatory programs,” says AAOS President Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD in the letter. “Because of the lack of reliable data, AAOS has argued that the CJR model lacks the evidenced-based approach necessary to truly leverage best practices in managing payments and delivery across the health care system. Further, in initiating the CJR and other mandatory payment models, CMS overlooks related costs such as those that may result from the programs’ lack of risk-adjustment, lack of physician leadership, and short implementation timeline.”
 
As expressed previously (read the press release online here), AAOS was very encouraged to see that a new proposed rule makes significant changes to the CJR model and introduces a new voluntary model under the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative. However, AAOS remains committed to ensuring all physician payment reforms ultimately improve the care of musculoskeletal patients, and will continue to work with CMS, members of Congress, and other stakeholders to accomplish this goal. Today’s hearing was an important part of this process.
 
Read the entire letter online here.
 
For more information, visit http://www.aaos.org/advocacy/medicarepaymentcms/.
 
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Follow the AAOS Office of Government Relations on Twitter: @AAOSAdvocacy
 
Contact(s):
Elizabeth Fassbender
phone: 202-548-4143
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