Study Calls for CJR Strategies to Address Safety-net Hospitals’ Disadvantage

Hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients were less likely to qualify for financial rewards in the first year of Medicare’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model, according to a study reported this week in Health Affairs. “Continuation of this trend into subsequent years will place these hospitals at higher risk of CJR penalties,” the authors said. “Strategies that address the added complexity of patients treated in safety-net hospitals are necessary to reduce the disadvantage of safety-net hospitals and the vulnerable patients they serve.” For example, they said CMS could consider “adjusting for sociodemographic risk in CJR performance metrics to give safety-net hospitals more credit for the clinical and social profiles of their patients.”

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