New Medicare Program Bases Reimbursement for Hip and Knee Replacements on Value-Based Criteria, Now in 67 Regional Markets

Medicare’s latest payment rules for joint replacement surgeries is another step forward on the path toward bundled payments and similar value-based reimbursement models 

By now, most clinical laboratory managers and pathologists know about an ambitious new Medicare program that essentially brings a value-based reimbursement model to joint replacement surgeries. The program has already commenced in a number of regional markets across the United States.

This new program was instituted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). It is mandatory program and reimburses providers for hip and knee replacements using a reimbursement model that further ties Medicare payments to quality or value metrics. This program was launched in 67 metropolitan areas.

Called the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, it establishes a 90-day episode of care from the date of the replacement procedure. Hospitals remain accountable for all charges related to recovery and rehabilitation within this window.