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CMS delays 2 bundled payment programs

The bundled payment programs for hip and knee replacements was slated to expand Tuesday.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Two bundled payment programs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovation Center, which had already been delayed, will be further delayed by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a Federal Register notice.

The bundled payment programs for hip and knee replacements was slated to expand Tuesday, while a new stroke and heart attack care program was planned for implementation the same day. Those changes are now being delayed until May 20.

Originally, the changes were supposed to take place on Jan. 21, but the Trump administration ordered a 60-day regulatory freeze upon taking office.

The news comes as new HHS Secretary Tom Price has said he wanted to review bundled payment programs. In the past, Price has been a vocal opponent to these types of reimbursement models.

[Also: Tom Price says CMMI 'off track,' hints at changes to programs]

The extra delay, according to the notice, "is necessary to allow time for additional review, to ensure that the agency has adequate time to undertake notice and comment rulemaking to modify the policy if policy modifications are warranted," and to make sure its participants understand the rules and how to comply with them.

HHS is also seeking comment about potentially delaying the start of the cardiac care program, and the expansion of the joint replacement program, until Jan. 1, 2018.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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