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Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jun 28, 2016 1:58:52 PM
Betsy Weaver, Ed.D.
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Just two months after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ game-changing bundled payment plan, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), took effect in 790 hospitals nationwide, the federal agency is headlong into another landmark innovation in healthcare.


In a June 13, 2016, address to the American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting in Chicago, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt detailed how his agency will implement the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, known as MACRA.

What do CJR and MACRA have in common? While MACRA is a broad payment plan for individual healthcare providers and CJR is a hospital reimbursement initiative currently limited to joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation, the two are connected in important ways. This commonality forecasts the future for CMS and the entire healthcare system loud and clear.

Hospitals Must Enhance Operational Improvements, Patient Experience and Outcomes

Though they focus on different areas, innovative reimbursement programs like CJR, and now MACRA, both underscore CMS’s emphasis on efficiency and quality in patient care. These are key to the agency’s overall mission—to transform healthcare into a value-based, rather than fee-for-service, industry.

In its calls to rein in costs while improving patient care, CMS continues to emphasize the role technology can play in accomplishing both goals. CJR and MACRA offer great opportunities to do this. Using digital communication to engage, guide and empower patients to be better partners in their care can yield higher CMS reimbursements for hospitals and individual providers and improved overall well-being and satisfaction for patients. And that’s a win-win for health and healthcare.

– Adapted from the white paper, CJR & MACRA….Connected? To learn more about CMS’s goals for implementing MACRA and establishing a value-based healthcare system that “pays for what works,” download the white paper.

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Topics: Value-Based Care, Improving Patient Outcomes, Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement