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Bundled payment models for cardiac care, joint replacement, delayed

The delay affects episode payment models put into place under President Obama.

Susan Morse, Associate Editor

The Department of Health and Human Services is further delaying the implementation of bundled payment models that were scheduled to begin on May 20, to January 1, 2018.

This affects episode payment models for cardiac rehabilitation and changes to the comprehensive care model for joint replacement.

The final rule issued Thursday finalizes a delay of the bundled regulations from July 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018.

[Also: Tom Price might soften bundled payments, but healthcare orgs will stay the course]

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in the final rule that it had received numerous comments widely supporting the need for more preparation time.

CMS had asked for comments about pushing the bundles to 2018, in the rule announcing the delay to May 20.

The department suggested that more time would allow providers to prepare for the necessary changes in coordination.

The bundled payment models that were put into place under President Obama, implement new Medicare episode payment models for cardiac rehabilitation and changes to the existing joint replacement model.

[Also: Expert: Trump administration 'buying time' by delaying bundled payment programs]

The models affected acute care hospitals in certain geographic areas, and includes care through 90 days of hospital discharge.

CMS received 47 responses on the start date during a 30-day comment period for the rule that closed on April 19.

Some commenters expressed concern about the delay for its potential impact on clinicians' participation in the 2017 Advanced APM track and for confusion among participants and beneficiaries.

[Also: CMS delays 2 bundled payment programs]

Commenters also expressed concern that a further delay would prevent non-physician practitioner group practices, therapy group practices, therapists in private practice, and comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, from becoming comprehensive joint replacement collaborators during 2017.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse

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