Bundled Payments on the Rise for Spine Reimbursement

According to recent research in a Survey of Innovative Reimbursement Models in Spine Care1, healthcare providers who provide bundled payments can increase patient volumes from payers. These findings were published after interviews were conducted amongst 24 stakeholders across 18 organizations that perform at least 12,000 spine surgeries each year. Based on these insights, it is believed that in just 3 years, bundled payments will account for 30-45% of spine reimbursement. It was also found that a majority of revenue came from fee-for-service reimbursement accounts.

Benefits of Bundled Payments

There have been several reported benefits to adopting a bundled payments system.

  • Increase in patient volume
  • Discourages unnecessary treatment
  • Increased surgical yield
  • More financial benefits

Reasons Some are Hesitant to Adopt Bundled Payments

Some institutions are hesitant to adopt bundled payments for chronic back pain, citing that it will be difficult to model risk and align incentives. Other common complaints include that it may leave an operational and administrative burden when determining compensation rates for spinal surgery.

In conclusion, researchers Kazberouk, Mcguire, and Landon believe that organizations should "begin considering reimbursement models that focus on non-interventional spine care." And that, "developments in spine reimbursement may apply to other procedure-based specialties, including orthopedics and cardiology."

For more information on bundled payments and spine reimbursement trends, contact the professionals at Healthcare Information Services.

 1Kazberouk, A., Mcguire, K., & Landon, B. E. (2016, February 15). A Survey of Innovative Reimbursement Models in Spine Care. Spine, 41(4), 344-352. doi:10.1097/brs.0000000000001212