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Poll finds consumers like bundled care

78 percent say the model is appealing

Bundled care is touted frequently these days as one of the best ways in healthcare to save money, right reimbursement wrongs and heighten the quality of care. While the model is still being debated within the industry, a recent report indicates that consumers like it.

Seventy-eight percent of consumers said the idea of bundled care appealed to them, says a report from Booz & Company, a global management and strategy consulting firm that polled 1,000 consumers in the United States about their interest in bundled healthcare.

[See also: CMS announces 500 organizations will participate in bundled payment initiative]

Of those polled, the ones most open to bundled care are those currently uninsured, those bearing 50 to 75 percent of out-of-pocket healthcare costs and consumers ages 31 to 49.

"The reason … the consumers like it is it's a way to remove fragmentation from the healthcare system that's very painful to consumers," said Minoo Javanmardian, PhD, a partner with Booz who works with the company's healthcare clients.

"The biggest appeal to the consumer … is that integrated care gets delivered to the consumer, and they also have a perspective for the pricing of it," she explained. "Versus trying to navigate the system on their own."

Bundled care, she said, is an affordable option in a time when cost has to be removed from the system. That consumers like it is a bonus that payers and providers should jump on.

"You've got to bend the cost curve and you've got to get costs down at the base leve,l and you cannot do that with the existing care model," Javanmardian said. "So you have to do something differently, and the bundled (model) is a construct that will allow you to do that."

For the model to be effective, though, she cautioned, payers and providers must work together.

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