AHA urges CMS to expand start dates for BPCI Advanced

The American Hospital Association sent a letter to CMS in June, urging the agency to offer two additional start dates for the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced model.

Healthcare organizations applying for BPCI Advanced are required to select clinical episodes for which they will be held accountable and return their signed participant agreements to CMS by Aug. 1. This timeline was based on CMS providing hospitals with a suite of data, including episode target prices and raw claims data, by the end of May.

However, the AHA claims CMS did not supply the data to many hospitals until well into June, and that some facilities still hadn't received the data as of June 21. "This leaves them fewer than two months before the August 1 deadline to conduct the complete and complex analyses that are required to decide whether to participate in the model and, if so, in which episodes to participate," wrote the AHA.

BPCI Advanced is slated to start Oct. 1, but the AHA proposed adding two additional start date options in 2019 — Jan. 1 and April 1. "These additional start dates would expand the opportunities for applicants to be part of the initial BPCI Advanced cohorts, enabling CMS to pilot the program with a greater number of well-informed participants," the AHA wrote. "Further, by making these start dates optional, CMS can still allow applicants who feel ready to begin by the original program start date of Oct. 1, 2018 to do so."

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