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What We’re Watching: December 11, 2018


CMS actuaries released the Annual Report on National Health Expenditures, America’s barometer on overall healthcare spending. The report should be characterized as a positive from a federal budget vantage point, marking a third year of slower growth and the lowest growth rate since 2013.

What we’re saying: The slowdown in spending serves to prove the progress health systems have made to improve healthcare quality and costs. Premier members, particularly, have been focused on efforts to do just that. Take Baystate Health, which saved $35M in one year. Or our quality improvement collaborative members, who are making great strides in improving patient outcomes and safety.


A national survey and study of 104 surgeons found that those participating in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program had significantly greater use of practices aimed at improving post-discharge care, such as developing narrow networks of post-acute care providers, using telehealth services, and reducing utilization of SNFs among surgeons practicing in CJR.

What we’re saying: These analyses are consistent with other studies that find that bundled payments create incentives to invest in post-discharge care to more effectively manage post-acute care costs. We’re seeing it with our members, which outperform others by 35% in this program.


What We’re Watching is a weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members.

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