Medicare launches major payment shift for hip, knee surgery
WASHINGTON - Medicare is launching a major shift in how it pays for hip and knee replacements. The goal: improve quality and control costs.
The Obama administration said on Monday that starting April 1, hospitals in 67 metropolitan areas will get a single payment for hip and knee replacements, covering surgery, recovery and rehabilitation. The aim is better coordination from start to finish by replacing piecemeal fees with a single payment.
Hospitals would receive additional financial rewards by meeting certain targets for quality and overall costs. Eventually, they will be financially liable if they fall short.
Hip and knee replacements are the most common inpatient surgery for Medicare recipients. There were about 400,000 such procedures last year, ranging in cost from $16,500 to $33,000 across the nation.