Medicare Officials Announce Bundled Reimbursement Initiative and Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests Are to Be Included

“Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative” will be voluntary for hospitals, physicians, and other providers, including medical laboratories

Yesterday, Medicare officials took the first steps to implement a program for bundled Medicare payments by issuing documents which describe how this program would work. At least two of the four models for bundled reimbursement will include clinical pathology laboratory tests as part of the bundled care arrangement.

Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists will want to pay close attention to this development. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) titled this new effort the “Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative.” It is a voluntary program. Only those providers who submit proposals and bids which are accepted will be paid through this program. The goal is to encourage different providers to collaborate on the care of a patient. Each of the four models for bundled healthcare has a slightly different payment arrangement.