With a new administration comes uncertainty in health policy that feels like shifting sands under our feet. This has been true for every Presidential transition in recent memory. With the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unclear, changes from this new administration are expected to be more disruptive than in the past and not necessarily just in the ways we may think.

In addition to expanding access to health insurance, the ACA introduced many Medicare payment reforms. In 2016, Medicare implemented bundled payments for hip and knee replacements (Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model) and proposed to launch a similar program for acute myocardial infarction and cardiac surgery in July 2017 (Cardiac Incentive Payment Model).

With the new President’s Executive Order halting regulatory activity on the ACA, the status of these programs is unclear.

  • Should health systems continue to align incentives across the care paradigm to be prepared for bundled payments?
  • Will bundled payments go away?
  • Will new incentives be created?

The ACA also helped launch the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) movement in the market place which provides incentives via Medicare to encourage providers to develop integrated health care delivery models. Now, the future of the ACO model is uncertain.

  • Will the ACA repeal include the elimination of ACO initiatives?
  • Will ACA stay in place, but will the development of these care delivery models be slowed?
  • Will ACO initiatives from commercial health plans instead drive innovation in care delivery?

Today, the answers to these questions are unknown. So, we are left to watch and wait as Congress and the White House decide the future of our healthcare model.

The good news? You can do something now. You can learn where your technology fits within today’s payment system and be ready to adapt quickly as payment models change. So, while the sands are shifting, we can help you plan for today and be ready for tomorrow. Learn more by clicking here or emailing hello@ruckuspartners.com.