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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced another initiative today designed to lower costs and improve quality of care. This latest effort focuses on improved care for patients while they are in the hospital and after they are discharged.

Doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers can now apply to participate in a new program known as the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative (Bundled Payments initiative). The program will align payments for services delivered across an episode of care, such as heart bypass or hip replacement, rather than paying for services separately. Bundled payments will give doctors and hospitals new incentives to coordinate care, improve the quality of care, and save money for Medicare.

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