United Healthcare, the largest health insurance company in the country, has begun a bundled payment program for maternity care to foster more coordinated care.
The bundled payment reimburses providers for a defined episode of care, such as prenatal, delivery, and postpartum services, using a single fee or payment. If a provider improves on quality metrics and reduces costs, it will receive a bonus, according to media reports. The company will not require providers to share in losses, at least initially.
This replaces the traditional fee-for-service payment structure in which the provider receives payment for each treatment, appointment, or test.
Two providers are now participating in the program, and United Healthcare plans to expand to as many as 20 providers by the end of 2019.
Cigna and Humana have also launched bundled payment programs for maternity care over the past 18 months.