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This article is the authors’ final published version in Global Spine Journal, Volume 11, Issue 1 Supplement, April 2021, Pages 7S-13S.

The published version is available at Copyright © Hines et al.


STUDY DESIGN: The following is a narrative discussion of bundled payments in spine surgery.

OBJECTIVE: The cost of healthcare in the United States has continued to increase. To lower the cost of healthcare, reimbursement models are being investigated as potential cost saving interventions by driving incentives and quality improvement in fields such a spine surgery.

METHODS: Narrative overview of literature pertaining to bundled payments in spine surgery synthesizing findings from computerized databases and authoritative texts.

RESULTS: Spine surgery is challenging to define payment modes because of high cost variability and surgical decision-making nuances. While implementing bundled care payments in spine surgery, it is important to understand concepts such as value-based purchasing, episodes of care, prospective versus retrospective payment models, one versus two-sided risk, risk adjustment, and outlier protection. Strategies for implementation underscore the importance of risk stratification and modeling, adoption of evidence based clinical pathways, and data collection and dissemination. While bundled care models have been successfully implemented, challenges facing institutions adopting bundled care payment models include financial stressors during adoption of the model, distribution of risks, incentivization of treating only low risk patients, and nuanced variation in procedures leading to variation in costs.

CONCLUSION: An alternative for fee for service payments, bundled care payments may lead to higher cost savings and surgeon accountability in a patient's care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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