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March 30, 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has delayed the implementation of the mandatory bundled payment plans for both the Mandatory Cardiac Bundle (Medicare patients with MI or bypass surgery) and the Mandatory Joint Replacement Bundle (Medicare patients with hip replacement or other treatments for hip and femur fractures) from 07/01/2017 to 10/01/2017, and has also delayed the final rule to implement the Joint Replacement Bundle, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model, and the Initiative to Advance Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models from 03/21/2017 until 05/20/2017. CMS is also seeking comment on a potential further delay of these programs until 01/01/2018. All of these programs were set to roll out in select Metropolitan Areas later this year, but CMS feels it needs more time to evaluate the comments that were received. The fact that they are considering a further delay may indicate more problems in the introduction of these programs than was initially anticipated. The Bundled Payment programs are designed to hold the acute care hospitals that are participating in the programs accountable for both the quality and the cost of the acute inpatient stay, and all additional costs incurred for 90 days post-discharge.

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