Providers, including hospitals, physicians and non-physician practitioners still have time to contribute to the growing accountable care model by submitting to CMS a Letter of Intent to participate in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative to CMS. CMS is seeking applicants who are willing to participate in one of the four models for episode-based payment for acute and post-acute care created under the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative. The initiative will start in 2012 and is geared toward aligning incentives between providers to improve coordination throughout episodes of care. The four models are described in detail here: http://innovations.cms.gov/documents/pdf/Fact-Sheet-Bundled-Payment-FINAL82311.pdf.

Providers interested in participating in Model 1 must submit a binding Letter of Intent by October 6, 2011, and providers interested in Models 2 through 4 have until November 4, 2011.

For additional information regarding the Letter of Intent requirements, see http://innovations.cms.gov/areas-of-focus/patient-care-models/Bundled-Payments-%20Care-Improvement-Application.html and http://innovations.cms.gov/areas-of-focus/patient-care-models/bundled-payments-for-care-improvement.html. Final applications must be received by CMS on or before November 18, 2011, for Model 1 and March 15, 2012, for Models 2–4. All materials should be submitted electronically in searchable PDF format via encrypted email to BundledPayments@cms.hhs.gov.