In late 2011, the U.S Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has launched a concept called “bundled care” for acute and hospital care. It is isn’t too farfetched that bundled care in that arena might creep into the vision care space. An instrument, accountable care organizations (ACO) is positioned as an instrument to promote bundled care/payment. Is optometry ready for such a movement?
Briefly, the concept is to reward or pay for a range of services for a particular patient for a particular outcome. These services have to be coordinated in some fashion and the medical home under the ACO model is the likely source of that collaboration. In this way, the primary care physician remains as either the “quarterback” or the case manager for care for a particular patient.
A slowly ominous outcome for optometry is its inability of to take part in any kind ACO or bundled care/payment initiative. That’s because the medical home is a wholly medical concept that is driven by primary care medicine. A problem exists for optometry. The profession has led a charmed life as a legislated profession and as such legislation or regulation is necessary to compel optometry inclusion in any kind of scheme for bundled care/payment.
Optometry seems silent around participation in bundled care/payment. Generally, optometry hasn’t publicized quite yet the need for its inclusion in ACOs and bundled care/payment. Watching the various optometry blogs, readers are frustrated by a general lack of understanding of how optometry can participate in these new US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations (CMS). Either the readers are looking for a source of authority in the profession to lead optometry into participation or they are looking to its organized leadership to do so. But distrust prevails within the profession as an onerous internecine struggle within the profession has distracted many from staking a place for optometry.
Assuredly, even though that pace may be slow, the rush to position optometry as a key player in eye care and in primary care is based upon a longstanding heritage that the eyes are critical sign posts for systemic medical problems and that loss of sight brings significant social and rehabilitative costs that are preventable if there is early detection and management. It makes sense for optometry to participate in bundled care/payment.
In summary, there are visible milestones that CMS is serious about controlling health care. This means that the traditional “fee-for-service” model may be anachronistic and that a bundled care/payment is its successor. Where will optometry play?
For further reading:
ACO – Bundled Payment. (n.d.). Wedi. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from https://www.wedi.org/workgroups/aco-bundled-payment
Ahlquist, M. J., Saxena, S. B., & Spencer, B. (2013, January 30). Bundled Care: The Voice of the Consumer. Booz & Co. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.booz.com/global/home/what-we-think/reports-white-papers/article-display/bundled-care-voice-consumer
Bouchard, S. (2013, April 17). Poll finds consumers like bundled care. HealthCare Payer News. Retrieved from http://www.healthcarepayernews.com/content/poll-finds-consumers-bundled-care
Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative: General Information | Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/bundled-payments/index.html
Bundling Payments to Curb Health Care Costs Proves Difficult to Realize | RAND. (2011, November 7). Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/11/07.html
Latest accountable care act initiative: Bundled payments for care improvement. (2011, September 19). Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.proskauer.com/publications/client-alert/latest-accountable-care-act-initiative-bundled-payments-for-care-improvement/
Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of Dr. Hom and not medical advice and is solely for entertainment or educational purposes. He is also a licensed life, health and disability agent in California, License # 0I18299.
© Copyright 2013 Richard Hom OD MPA aka “Tips4EyeDocs”
There are no disclosures for this post.