Bundled Payments: New Payment Models

The concept of a coordinated, team-based approach to health care delivery plays a central role in the re-design of our nation’s health care system. We are witnessing a dramatic shift away from the fragmented fee-for-service payment model. Many health care experts point to bundled payments and other coordinated care payment models as the future for most elective surgeries within specialties such as orthopaedics.

New payment models – including bundled payments, medical homes, and accountable care organizations (ACOs) – feature two key attributes that ensure value for patients:

  • Providers working together to coordinate care for the patient.
  • A physician leading the coordination efforts.

A physician’s traditional role in the health care system generally has been limited to delivery clinical care. As a result of these new payment models, a physician now has the added responsibility of overseeing and coordinating the care of a patient for an entire episode of care.