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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – A new pilot program between Care New England and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will officially begin on July 1, creating a bundled payment approach to congestive heart failure patients, according to Domenic Delmonico, senior vice president at Care New England.
Under the new program, there will be a bundled payment for patients, encompassing both the hospital stay and a defined period of time following the stay, according to Delmonico. Between now and the starting date, CMS and Care New England are sending information back and forth to help better define the parameters of the program.
“All of what happens to the patient [with congestive heart failure] will be considered as part of the bundled payment,” Delmonico said, including reasonable episodic care.
The actual bundled payment rates will be drawn from homogenized pricing information for the region, and not just locally, according to Delmonico, as Care New England and CMS move to implement the model program with the new payment arrangements.
The pilot bundled payment program is one of a number of initiatives that Care New England is pursuing in the new landscape of health care reform, and it complements the new partnership that Kent Hospital has established with cardiac physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Delmonico said.
“It’s very exciting to have the doctors from Brigham’s at Kent,” he said. In the past, he continued, cardiac catheterization patients had be hospitalized. “Now much of medicine is moving to outpatient care, as a result to advances in science and technology.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital also has a affiliation with Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket for cardiac care, and Memorial is in the process of becoming a member of the Care New England network.