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Medicare Delays Expansion of Bundled Payments Program

News  |  By Christopher Cheney  
   March 22, 2017

CMS has put on hold the rollout of three new cardiac episodes of care and the addition of hip fractures to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundled-payment program.

The announcement this week that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will delay implementation of four Medicare bundled-payment initiatives is merely a pause and does not signal the demise of episode-of-care payment models, says one orthopedic surgeon.

The bundled-payment initiatives had been slated to launch on July 1. The new launch date is Oct. 1.

"The delay in the cardiac bundles and femur fracture bundles is simply related to the inability to work out the details of each bundle such that the doctors and hospitals involved can effectively manage the episodes," says Louis Levitt, MD.


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Levitt is a practitioner and vice president at Washington, DC-based Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics and an assistant clinical professor at George Washington University.

In an interim final rule with comment period filed Monday, CMS put on hold the rollout of three new cardiac episodes of care and the addition of hip fractures to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement bundled-payment program.

The cardiac episodes of care placed that remain pending are:

  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Coronary artery bypass graft
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

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