‘Bundles of joy’ now come with bundled payment
HealthPartners and Ridgeview now offering up-front pricing and single billing for services – first of its kind convenience in the Twin Cities area
A routine pregnancy requires several clinic visits, numerous tests, ultrasounds and a hospital stay, all of which have separate bills. But, for people who have HealthPartners insurance and receive care at Ridgeview, all of these services now come with just one bill.
This simple and affordable approach to care and coverage is called a pregnancy care bundle.
With a bundled payment, patients know up front how much it will cost for nine months of routine pregnancy care and delivery. As long as no non-routine tests or services are required during pregnancy or delivery, the pregnant person will receive their one “bundled” bill after the birth of their child. This innovative model provides patients and members – and employers that offer employees health insurance – with more predictability and helps reduce total cost of care.
“For pregnancy, patients typically get many bills through the course of their prenatal care, delivery and post-partum care. It’s often a challenge for them to keep track of how much they owe, and what’s covered and what’s not by their insurance plan,” said Mike Phelps, Ridgeview President & CEO. “By collaborating with HealthPartners to offer this bundle for expectant parents, which also is unique in Minnesota, we’re making the care experience better for people who are busy preparing to welcome a new family member.”
Better experience, lower costs
The bundled payment model reflects a growing trend that incentivizes coordinated, high-quality care and clarifies costs, which creates a better experience for patients.
In this case, Ridgeview has several services that fall within the bundled payment package for pregnancy. When bundled, Ridgeview and its partners for this package – Lakeview Clinic, OBGYN West, Western OB/GYN, a Division of Ridgeview Clinics, South Lake Pediatrics and Wayzata Children’s Clinic – have priced each of the services to reflect the efficiency gained as a result of this model. This means HealthPartners members get excellent care for an uncomplicated pregnancy for that bundled price, ensuring pregnant patients who deliver at Ridgeview receive the care they need and have a simple billing experience. This results in high-quality care and birth experiences for pregnant patients, better coordination of services and billing, lower costs of care, and lower insurance costs.
“The pregnancy care bundle also provides employers with more predictability when it comes to health care expenses,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, HealthPartners Chief Medical Officer. “This type of payment reform can help improve patient and members’ experiences all while simplifying business planning.”
Bundled payment packages have been successful in other specialties such as Orthopedics. HealthPartners members received more than 1,200 bundled orthopedic procedures in 2020, up from 800 bundled orthopedic procedures in 2017, indicating these payment reforms continue to gain interest among provider groups and their patients.
Ridgeview delivered more than 1,200 babies in 2020 at its Waconia hospital location. This year, 23 patients with HealthPartners insurance have already benefited from the pregnancy care bundled payment. Both HealthPartners and Ridgeview could replicate this bundled pregnancy care model in the future with other care groups and insurers respectively, which could help drive down costs and create a new standard for billing in the industry.
HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit healthpartners.com.