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A new Medicare payment initiative offers patients and PTs a bundle of opportunities.

More than 1 million total hip and total knee procedures were performed in the United States in 2014, approximately half of which were covered under Medicare.1 Physical therapists (PTs) are integrally involved in the care of these patients, providing postoperative care services to the vast majority of them.2 So, it's no surprise that last fall PTs anxiously awaited the final rule on a 2016 model project announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that bundles payment for lower extremity joint replacement surgery.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FastStats - Inpatient Surgery webpage. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/inpatient-surgery.htm. Last updated April 29, 2015. Accessed January 5, 2016.
  2. Snow et al. Associations between preoperative physical therapy and post-acute care utilization patterns and cost in total joint replacement. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014;96(19). http://jbjs.org/content/96/19/e165. Accessed January 5, 2016.

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