CMS further delays major bundled payment initiatives: 4 things to know

CMS issued a final rule Thursday that further delays implementation of cardiac care bundled payment initiatives and expansion of the existing Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model.

Here are four things to know about the final rule.

1. The final rule delays the start of the cardiac rehabilitation payment model and mandatory bundled payment programs for heart attacks and bypass surgeries and the expansion date of the CJR model from Oct. 1, 2017, until Jan. 1, 2018.

2. This is the second time CMS has delayed the new programs and the CJR expansion. In March, the agency pushed back the effective date for the programs from July 1, 2017, until Oct. 1, 2017.

3. CMS said further delay of the start dates will help ensure it has enough time for notice and comment rulemaking if modifications are made to the payment models. "This would ensure that, in the case of any policy changes, participants would have a clear understanding of the governing rule before episodes begin and have the opportunity to take additional steps to adjust to any potential changes that may be effectuated," states the final rule.

4. The programs are all part of a final rule CMS issued in December. At that time, the American Hospital Association expressed concern about the pace of change, saying the final rule was "too much, too soon."

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