CMS calls for additional participants in post-acute bundled payments programs

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a call for additional providers to take part in a bundled payment program that involves post-acute care.

The Bundled Payments for Care Initiative is intended to test different ways of coordinating services across the healthcare continuum while containing costs. The general idea is that a variety of providers receive a single payment for a beneficiary's episode of care, and they share in any savings.

The initiative consists of four models. In Model 2, a bundled payment is provided for an episode of care that involves acute and post-acute care. Model 3 features a bundled payment for post-acute care that does not involve an inpatient hospital stay.

CMS has described the program as the “most ambitious test” of this type of system. Last month, it announced 232 new participants, including skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies.

“We believe that increasing the number of awardees and the types of episodes being tested would result in an even more robust data set and improve our evaluation of the models,” CMS stated in its announcement of a “winter open period” for enrollment.

Interested providers have until April 18 to apply. Further information is available in a notice published Friday in the Federal Register.

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