3:45 PM
 | 
Nov 08, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Politics & Policy

Azar teases new push for mandatory episode-based payment models

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday that the agency plans to revisit episode-based payment models on cardiac care and explore a mandatory episode-based payment model focused on radiation oncology, as the agency looks to move beyond voluntary bundled payment models as a means to cut costs. Both could include drug costs in the bundle.

HHS has already seen “significant savings” from its voluntary Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) model, which covers joint replacement, pneumonia and several other common inpatient episodes, but needs to move beyond voluntary initiatives, Azar said in remarks at the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative in Washington.

“Real experimentation with episodic bundles requires a willingness to try mandatory models,” Azar said, calling such models the most...

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