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CMS Delays Cardiac and Ortho Bundled Payment Programs Implementation

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The start date for many of the bundle payment programs is pushed back by CMS to allow time for additional review and to complete the comment and rule making process. CMS has announced 3 months delay for the start of the CJR (Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement) pilot, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model, and three other Medicare cardiac care payment programs.

Per CMS “This interim final rule with comment period (IFC) further delays the effective date of the final rule entitled “Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model; and Changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model” published in the January 3, 2017 Federal Register from March 21, 2017 until May 20, 2017”. They also stated “This IFC also delays the applicability date of the regulations at 42 CFR part 512 from July 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017 and effective date of the specific CJR regulations itemized in the DATES section from July 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017.

This delay may impact the providers who were hoping to implement the models during the MACRA attestation process. As originally envisioned by CMS that the programs would help clinicians accrue incentives under the Alternative Payment Model (APM) track.