Neiman team develops bundled mammography payment model

Researchers from the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute have developed a bundled payment model for mammography, publishing it online August 18 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Mammography is a good candidate for bundled payments and could serve as a framework for other episodic specialty bundles, according to lead author Danny Hughes, PhD, and colleagues.

The team crafted a bundled payment model for mammography, fine-tuning it using Medicare claims data and data from a private health system. The model includes alternative screening episode definitions, methods for calibrating prices, and an examination of risk, and it can serve as a general framework on which other cancer screening bundles could be crafted, the authors wrote (JACR, August 18, 2016).

Because screening bundles include costs for follow-up diagnostic imaging in addition to the initial screening mammographic examination, patient adherence to screening guidelines may improve, which could have profound effects on public health, according to Hughes and colleagues.

"Aside from serving as a model to demonstrate how diagnostic radiologists can participate in bundled payment models, this research initiative has the potential to fundamentally change the way mammography is paid for in this country," Hughes said in a statement released by the institute.

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