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CMS offers 2-year extension for bundled-payment program

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CMS is ¬†offering participants in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative the option to extend participation an additional two years, says a blog post from Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS’s acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer.

Rather than ending the program this fall, participating providers can extend participation through Sept. 30, 2018.

Becker’s Hospital Review says that the agency hopes that “the extension will help it better determine the effectiveness of the program, which aims to incentivize providers to improve care coordination by paying for services patients receive across an episode of care, such as a heart bypass surgery or hip replacement.”

Dr. Conway wrote: “By extending their participation, CMS will be able to provide a more robust and rigorous evaluation of the initiative and determine whether the efforts of bundling payments are successful in providing better care while spending healthcare dollars more wisely”.

The initiative tests four payment models, which vary based on the services in the episode of care and whether payments are made prospectively or retrospectively. BPCI has 1,522 participants, nearly all of which are in Models 2, 3 and 4.

The extension will be available to providers in Models 2, 3 and 4 that began the BPCI initiative in October 2013 or in 2014.

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