This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") announced that it is extending participation in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement ("BPCI") initiative through September 30, 2018. Awardees in the BPCI initiative can now extend their participation in Models 2, 3 and 4 until that date. Originally, awardees that began in October 2013 were due to end their participation on September 20, 2016.This extension will allow participants, including those who joined later in 2014, more time to participate in the BPCI program beyond the original three-year time frame. According to CMS, it will allow a more "robust and rigorous evaluation" of the BPCI initiative in order to determine whether the outcomes of better care and lower costs are actually being achieved. This extension is a step forward in achieving the Department of Health and Human Services' goal of transitioning away from a fee-for-service model and towards one that will tie 90 percent of all Medicare payments to quality and value by 2018.
For more information on the BPCI initiative in general, please click here.