For Medicare’s Joint Replacement Model, a Steep Learning Curve

By: Michael D. Williamson


April 5 — Many hospitals in certain parts of the country are scrambling to understand the implications of a new five-year Medicare payment model for knee and hip replacements that holds them financially responsible for improving quality and coordinating care.

Device companies are also moving quickly to understand how the new Medicare payment demonstration for orthopedic device procedures could affect sales, Lesley Yeung, a Washington-based life sciences attorney at Epstein Becker & Green PC, told Bloomberg BNA March 31.

The demo launched April 1 and is testing Medicare payment changes for certain orthopedic procedures in most hospitals located in 67 geographic areas.

A number consultants, health-care policy analysts and industry group leaders told Bloomberg BNA that device companies, hospitals and other providers are anticipating the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (known as both CJR and CCJR) to present a steep learning curve filled with challenges and benefits.

In addition, sources said the hospital and device industries, as well as Medicare, may be reshaped by the program.



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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