Earlier this year, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced some 450 participants in its bundled payment program, one of many flavors of accountable care. The bundled payment model aims at improving outcomes and reducing costs for a select group of procedures and related services.

If nothing else, the announcement gave a shot in the arm to the accountable care movement, offering a concrete example of just how broad the shift away from fee-for-service to fee-for-value is. "It's the largest voluntary Medicare accountable care model," notes Rob Lazerow, a senior consultant at the Advisory Board Company. "It has nearly twice as many provider organizations compared to those participating in the shared savings program. It represents a big spike in experimentation."

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