The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed the elimination of bundled payment program initiatives whose implementation has already been twice delayed, as previously discussed here.

In May, CMS published an interim rule that postponed the effective date of cardiac care bundled payment initiatives and the expansion of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR) and set a January 1, 2018 start date for the Episode Payment Models (EPMs) and Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) incentive payment model. On August 16, CMS published a proposed rule that would eliminate the EPMs and CR payment model entirely and cancel the expansion of the CJR payment model.

CMS has indicated that eliminating mandatory bundled payment models would give it greater flexibility to solicit feedback from stakeholders and to design and test innovations aimed at improving quality and care coordination. CMS expects to increase opportunities for providers through voluntary initiatives, including additional voluntary episode-based payment models.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted through October 16, 2017.