Thank you for your commentary, "Hospitals should buy into bundling" (June 26, p. 44), supporting the House Budget Committee's proposal. While there are a number of difficult policy issues to address before such a proposal could be implemented, the concept behind it is sound.
Hospitals should be strongly supporting these innovative kinds of proposals because they make sense for our patients. The original intent of Medicare was to provide healthcare for seniors, not revenues for providers. All too often policy debates on new ideas are dominated by provider groups worried about their income. As the growth of the Medicare program is restrained, which it will be, we need to focus our attention on policy changes that enable us to better serve patients.
Bundling payments aligns financial incentives and forces more coordinated approaches to patient care. You are right; this is a provision all hospitals should support.
JAMES L. SCOTT