In January 2013, a large, tertiary, urban academic medical center began participation in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative for total joint arthroplasty, a program implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2011. Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRGs) 469 and 470 were included. We participated in BPCI Model 2, by which an episode of care includes the inpatient and all post-acute care costs through 90 days following discharge. The goal for this initiative is to improve patient care and quality through a patient-centered approach with increased care coordination supported through payment innovation.
Length of stay (LOS), readmissions, discharge disposition, and cost per episode of care were analyzed for year 3 compared with year 1 of the initiative. Multiple programs were implemented after the first year to improve performance metrics: a surgeon-directed preoperative risk-factor optimization program, enhanced care coordination and home services, a change in venous thromboembolic disease (VTED) prophylaxis to a risk-stratified protocol, infection-prevention measures, a continued emphasis on discharge to home rather than to an inpatient facility, and a quality-dependent gain-sharing program among surgeons.
There were 721 Medicare primary total joint arthroplasty patients in year 1 and 785 in year 3; their data were compared. The average hospital LOS decreased from 3.58 to 2.96 days. The rate of discharge to an inpatient facility decreased from 44% to 28%. The 30-day all-cause readmission rate decreased from 7% to 5%; the 60-day all-cause readmission rate decreased from 11% to 6%; and the 90-day all-cause readmission rate decreased from 13% to 8%. The average 90-day cost per episode decreased by 20%.
Mid-term results from the implementation of Medicare BPCI Model 2 for primary total joint arthroplasty demonstrated decreased LOS, decreased discharges to inpatient facilities, decreased readmissions, and decreased cost of the episode of care in year 3 compared with year 1, resulting in increased value to all stakeholders involved in this initiative and suggesting that continued improvement over initial gains is possible.
1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
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