Hillcrest Announces Medicare Incentive Program

Hillcrest Medical Center rolls out an incentive program for Medicare beneficiaries.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services selected HMC to participate in a three-year demonstration program that will offer Medicare beneficiaries – mostly senior citizens – cash incentives for electing to have procedures done at HMC.
As one of five selected “Value-Based Care Centers,” HMC will provide cardiology and orthopedic services to Medicare beneficiaries at discounted rates. CMS will then share up to 50 percent of those savings with qualifying beneficiaries in the form of incentive payments, ranging from $350 to $1,157.
HMC is the only Tulsa hospital offering the incentive.
The three-year program rolled out May 1, and since then, HMC has performed six orthopedic procedures on Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for the reimbursement. Many of them did not know about it at the time, said Yogesh Mittal, a doctor at The Orthopedic Center, and were surprised to learn they’d be receiving a check in the mail for having their procedures performed at HMC.
Mittal said HMC is the first in the nation to roll out the incentive program and that the program is important to long-rang health care reform possibilities.
“Hillcrest was selected for the program because of our outcomes, our experience with the procedures and our efforts to make them better and more cost affordable,” said Mittal.
He said that every aspect of the cardiology and orthopedic procedures performed at HMC and subject to the incentive program will still be controlled by doctors, and not by the government.
Wayne Leimbach Jr., chief of cardiology at the Oklahoma Heart Institute, said the program is “almost too good to be true” because it pays Medicare patients for procedures they’d need to have already.
HMC has set up a hotline and Web site for Medicare patients to ask questions about the incentive program at 877-346-2233 or www.todayshillcrest.com/incentiveprogram.

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