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The federal health reform legislation includes several demonstration projects that will be held in the coming years to test new models for care delivery and payment. Hospitals and health systems are encouraged to carefully study the provisions of these upcoming projects and clearly understand their requirements. Early Lessons from the Bundled Payment Acute Care Episode Demonstration Project provides an overview and summary of lessons learned to date from a current CMS pilot project, the CMS Acute Care Episode (ACE) Demonstration Project, which is testing the effect of bundling Part A and B payments for episodes of care on the coordination, quality, and efficiency of care.
The report offers the following lessons learned to date:
It also explores several questions yet to be answered:
As the conversation continues around this demonstration project and others put forward by CMS, it is important for hospitals to understand the lessons learned in CMS demonstrations and be prepared to implement these successful practices in the upcoming health care reform demonstration projects.
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