A $2.9 million bundled-care pilot program in California funded by the Agency for Health Research and Quality resulted in too few hospital cases to draw definitive conclusions about how bundled payments affect health care quality or costs, researchers report in the journal Health Affairs. Payer and hospital goals do not always align perfectly, but points of disagreement such as which patients should be covered under bundled models and for how long are "solvable problems," according to lead author Susan Ridgely, a RAND Corp. policy analyst. "We're still quite enthusiastic about this approach." She said the goal of the report is to provide tools for optimizing models in the future.

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