American Heart Association Comments on Bundled Payment Models for Cardiac Care

Washington, D.C., July 26, 2016 — American Heart Association President Steven Houser, Ph.D., FAHA issued the following comments on the Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) newly announced bundled payment models for cardiac care:

"As an organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from cardiovascular diseases, we believe that the movement towards value-based payment models may be a way to incentivize high quality, evidence-based care for patients. In the case of cardiac rehabilitation (CR), the evidence for patient benefit could not be clearer: CR reduces the risk of a future cardiac event, reduces hospital readmissions, and improves a patient's overall quality of life. Unfortunately, we also know that CR remains greatly underutilized among eligible patients. We believe the proposed Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model could be a significant step in the right direction to overcome this challenge by incentivizing providers to coordinate CR and ensuring that eligible patients have access to, participate in and adhere to evidence-based CR treatment plans. We look forward to further reviewing the details of the proposed CR Incentive Payment Model, and we are committed to working with HHS in the design and testing of this new approach for cardiac rehabilitation. The association is also reviewing the other bundled payment models for cardiac care. We applaud HHS for their leadership in exploring these and other innovative approaches that have the potential to improve the health outcomes and lives of patients with cardiovascular disease."