From patient-centered medical homes to accountable care organizations to bundled pay—a deluge of new healthcare payment and delivery models have arisen as the U.S. shifts away from fee-for-service and attempts to rein in healthcare costs. Physicians face a dizzying array of new quality and efficiency measures.
Last week, the CMS proposed a bundled payment initiative in 75 geographic areas for hip and knee replacements with the goal of improving care coordination for Medicare beneficiaries and reducing costs. That program will put particular pressure on orthopedic surgeons.
These various initiatives will be discussed at the American College of Surgeons' annual National Surgical Quality Improvement Program meeting July 25-28 in Chicago. About 1,400 are expected to attend the conference, which will includes sessions focused on value- and evidence-based care, the demand for greater teamwork in surgical care, and process improvement.
While he's supportive of the CMS' efforts to boost quality, Dr. Frank Opelka, medical director for quality and health policy for the American College of Surgeons, strikes a cautious note. There are risks about going down the wrong paths, he said. “Then it's hard to recover. The pros are that we are moving forward trying to match advances in medicine with potential business systems. The simple con is that it's hard to know which one is going to work and do they work in every market.”
Also anticipated at the conference is an update on a soon-to-be-released surgical quality-improvement manual meant to help surgical teams establish a framework to drive better quality and safer care.