CMS Plans to Cancel Certain Bundled Payment Programs and Scale Back Another

August 23, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has shelved plans for two bundled payment models, set to begin in January 2018, and scaled back plans for a third for joint replacement procedures. CMS announced its plans in an August 15, 2017, press release and in an August 17, 2017, Federal Register proposal describing the changes. Bundled payments are intended to create incentives for providers and healthcare facilities to coordinate care delivery. They receive a single payment to treat patients through a specific episode of care and share any savings or losses. CMS proposed cancelling its two incentive payment models (one for certain episodes of care and another for cardiac rehabilitation) saying that this action would give the agency greater flexibility to test other care coordination innovations. The proposal also revises CMS's comprehensive care payment model for joint replacement by reducing the number of geographic areas that are required to participate from 67 to 34.

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