These programs involve inpatient, physician or post-acute care services where the hospital receives a single payment from a payer for an episode of care, such as a hip replacement or coronary artery bypass graft, and then distributes payments to participating providers. Of the small number of hospitals participating in a bundled payment program, 67 percent are affiliated with a system and 90 percent are located in urban areas, according to the 2011 American Hospital Association Annual Survey. These hospitals also tend to be larger — 70 percent of participants have 200 or more beds.

The number of organizations participating in bundles will skyrocket in 2013. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in January selected more than 450 organizations to participate in its Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, which comprises four broadly defined models of care.

For more information about AHA data, call (866) 375-3633.

Coming in April: Hospital Ownership
Trustee will look at the structure of hospitals' relationships with physicians, including joint ventures.