Bundled payment approach pays off for Northeast Ohio hospitals: 4 things to know

St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland has been chosen as the first U.S. hospital to participate in the Pacific Business Group on Health Employers Centers of Excellence Network for weight-loss surgery.

According to a news release, PBGH, a nonprofit business coalition, represents 60 large healthcare purchaser members with more than 10 million employees, retirees and dependents. 

Under the new contract, St. Vincent Charity will provide bariatric surgery for large national employers, whose covered members will be eligible to receive this surgery through a travel surgery program that includes preoperative and postoperative services covered through a bundle payment arrangement.

St. Vincent Charity is not the only Northeast Ohio hospital to use the bundled payment model.

Here are four things to know about other Northeast Ohio hospitals that have incorporated bundled payments and how they have benefited, according to a Crain's Cleveland Business report.

1. Cleveland-based University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and Lake Health, based in Concord Township, Ohio, have all implemented a model that bundles payments for joint replacement to include an inpatient stay in an acute care hospital, plus the post-acute care and all related services for up to 90 additional days, after hospital discharge.

2. Rick Cicero, senior vice president for business development at Lake Health, told Crain's Cleveland Business although full metrics are not yet available, having just started the program in July, the system has already seen reduced readmissions and is getting people discharged from the hospital faster and getting them home or into therapy.

3. Don Schiffbauer, director of clinical operations at University Hospitals Elyria (Ohio) Medical Center, said University Hospitals, which also started the program in July, has seen some similar initial results, according to the report. University Hospitals has implemented its model at Case and Parma medical centers, both based in Cleveland, and Elyria Medical.

4. Cleveland Clinic, which has been piloting bundled payments since 2013 for total hip and knee replacements, has seen close to $2,000 savings per procedure, said Kevin Sears, executive director of market and network services for the Cleveland Clinic, according to the report.

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