Bronson Methodist Hospital Selected to Partner with CMS to Improve Care, Reduce Costs for Medicare Patients

February 11, 2013

​Bronson Methodist Hospital has been selected by the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for participation in its new
Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative.  The objective of this
national pilot program is to improve the quality of healthcare delivery
for Medicare beneficiaries by aligning the financial incentives of all

Traditionally, Medicare makes separate payments to providers for each
of the individual services they provide to patients for a single
illness or episode of treatment. This approach can result in fragmented
care that lacks coordination across providers and healthcare settings.
It pays according to the quantity of services provided rather than the
quality of care furnished. Research has shown that bundled payments can
align incentives for providers – hospitals, post-acute care providers,
physicians, and other practitioners– helping them to work more
collaboratively across all specialties and settings.

Under bundled payment, organizations enter into payment arrangements
with CMS in one of four models that include financial and performance
accountability. These models are expected to lead to higher quality,
more coordinated care at a lower cost to Medicare.

Bronson Methodist Hospital is one of just 464 hospitals nationwide
selected for the bundled payment pilot program.  Participating in Model
4, Bronson and its physician partners will accept a prospective lump sum
payment for Medicare patients undergoing targeted cardiac, orthopedic
and spine surgeries. The hospital will assume financial risk for the
entire episode of care and then work closely with all members of the
care team to implement evidence-based care protocols that achieve
quality outcomes within the agreed upon payment structure.

“It is a major achievement for Bronson Methodist Hospital and our
physician partners to be among the select group of innovators chosen to
pioneer this new model of care. We look forward to this opportunity to
work even more collaboratively with members of our medical staff to
raise the bar on the efficiency and effectiveness of our clinical and
financial performance,” said Katie Harrelson, Bronson Methodist
Hospital’s chief operating officer.

The Affordable Care Act that is driving reform in healthcare is also
opening the doors for a new level of partnership between hospitals and
physicians that promises to help improve quality and reduce the cost of
its delivery.

There is a great deal of work ahead, according to Harrelson, but it
is important, ground-breaking work that will lead to measured
improvement all across the healthcare industry.  “As a national leader
in healthcare quality, the Bronson Healthcare system is actively
involved in finding new ways to achieve highly-reliable, cost-effective
care. Our focus is on delivering the right care, at the right time, in
the right place for everyone we serve in southwest Michigan.  What we
learn through participation in the CMS initiative will contribute to a
better care experience and a better value not just for Medicare
patients, but for all Bronson patients and their families,” she

About CMS Bundled Payment for Care Improvement

The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative
includes four models of bundling payments, varying by the types of
health care providers involved and the services included in the bundle. 
Depending on the model type, CMS will bundle payments for services
beneficiaries receive during an episode of care, encouraging hospitals,
physicians, post-acute facilities, and other providers as applicable to
work together to improve health outcomes and lower costs. Organizations
of providers participating in the initiative will agree to provide CMS a
discount from expected payments for the episode of care, and then the
provider partners will work together to reduce readmissions, duplicative
care, and complications to lower costs through improvement.

Today’s announcement marks the start of Phase 1 of Models 2, 3, and
4.  In Phase 1 (January-July 2013), over 100 participants partnering
with over 400 provider organizations, will receive new data from CMS on
care patterns and engage in shared learning in how to improve care.
Phase 1 participants are generally expected to become participants in
Phase 2, in which approved participants opt to take on financial risk
for episodes of care starting in July 2013, pending contract
finalization and completion of CMS’ standard program integrity reviews. 

About Bronson Methodist Hospital

Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown
Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare, a
not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and
northern Indiana. With 434 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson
Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty —
cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology,
oncology — with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I
Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified
Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s first accredited
Chest Pain Emergency Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and
only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in
pediatrics as one of only six children's hospitals in the state.

Bronson serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients in the
area and provides a substantial benefit to the community through
outreach and charitable care. It is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm
Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor
for quality and organizational performance excellence.  In 2009, the
hospital received the AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize awarded
annually to only one U.S. hospital and joined the top five percent of
hospitals in the nation to be designated a Magnet Hospital for Nursing
Excellence.  Bronson has been ranked in the top five percent of
hospitals in the nation as a Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital for
Clinical Excellence (2009-13) and as one of the nation's 100 Top
Hospitals (2009-11) according to Thomson Reuters. For more information,