Safety-net hospital performance under Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement

Health Serv Res. 2023 Feb;58(1):101-106. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.14042. Epub 2022 Aug 9.


Objective: To investigate the relative progress of safety-net hospitals (SNHs) under Medicare's Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) mandatory bundled payment model over 2016-2020 and to identify the contributors to SNHs' realization of success under the program.

Data sources/study setting: Secondary data on all CJR hospitals were collected from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) public use files and from the American Hospital Association.

Study design: We addressed whether SNHs can achieve progress in financial performance under CJR by focusing on the relative change in reconciliation payments or the difference between episode spending and target prices. We applied the method of dominance analysis to ordinary least squares regression to determine the relative importance of predictors of change in reconciliation payments over time.

Principal findings: Compared to CJR hospitals overall, SNHs were less successful in meeting episode spending targets. Hospital factors dominated socioeconomic factors in explaining progress among SNHs, but not among non-SNHs. The contribution of nurse staffing was negligible across all CJR hospitals.

Conclusions: The formula used by CMS to determine spending targets may not be sufficient to address disparities in SNH financial performance under mandatory bundled payment.

Keywords: Medicare; health policy/politics/law/regulation; hospitals; social determinants of health; uninsured/safety-net providers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement*
  • Episode of Care
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Safety-net Providers*
  • United States