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ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
9/7/2017 Payment/Reimbursement
Mandatory Bundling Program

CMS recently announced major changes to the mandatory post-acute bundling programs. These are the large-scale demonstrations created by the Obama Administration that forced bundling in large parts of the country and gave the bundles to hospitals. The full proposed rule is online here. 

There are two significant parts to the proposed rule:

1. The proposed rule cancels the most recent mandatory bundling program. This is the program that added two cardiac episodes to mandatory bundling and gave hospitals the bundle. CMS had delayed this program until January 1, 2018 and is now proposing to cancel it.

2. The proposed rule also makes major changes to the initial mandatory bundle, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR). The rule reduces the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) included in the demonstration from 67 to 34. For the 33 that MSAs that are eliminated, bundling can continue, but only on a voluntary basis. Even in the 34 remaining MSAs, bundling becomes voluntary in low volume rural hospitals. A complete list of the MSAs that are included in the proposed rule is online here.