Bundled payments, which were once adopted at many orthopedic groups, wasn't a trend that held long-term. Groups, including Philadelphia-based Rothman Orthopaedics, took them on but eventually dropped them as a payment model.
One California surgeon told Becker's why he believes bundled payments don't work for everyone.
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Editor's note: This response was lightly edited for clarity and length.
Question: Why are so many orthopedic groups dropping out of bundles?
Hooman Melamed, MD. The Spine Pro (Marina Del Rey, Calif.): To me this is very straightforward. Unfortunately many of these bundle programs were putting profits before patient care. It was about, "How can we save the most amount of money?" which unfortunately ended up resulting in patient care getting compromised.
At the end of the day, we as surgeons will be liable for anything happening to our patients. Every patient expects their surgeon to provide the best care at the highest level. And yes this might be a little bit expensive at times, but it delivers high superior care when the right intentions and the right ethics have been utilized.
What is also sad is that these bundling programs would punish any surgeon's reimbursements if the care delivered to the patient ended up costing more than anticipated only because the patient required the best care and instead the surgeons' pocketbooks were pinched more.