The Ethics of Bundled Payments in Total Joint Replacement: ”Cherry Picking” and “Lemon Dropping”

 

Casey Jo Humbyrd, The Journal of Clinical Ethics 29, no. 1 (Spring 2018): 62-8.

 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has initiated bundled payments for hip and knee total joint replacement in an effort to decrease healthcare costs and increase quality of care. The ethical implications of this program have not been studied. This article considers the ethics of patient selection to improve outcomes; specifically, screening patients by body mass index to determine eligibility for total joint replacement. I argue that this type of screening is not ethically defensible, and that the bundled payment program as structured is likely to lead to unfair restrictions on who receives total joint replacements.

 

 

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