The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week said it’s delaying the launch of a new bundled cardiac care payment model, and putting the brakes on the expansion of a similar, existing program for joint replacement procedures.
The moves come in response to the new administration’s Jan. 20 directive to freeze any new regulations until newly appointed department heads can review them. In response, CMS said Feb. 17 that it’s putting a 60-day freeze on the cardiac care program.
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model is designed to pay hospitals a fixed price for each “care episode” for patients treated for heart attack or bypass surgery, with higher prices paid to hospitals that deliver higher-quality care. The program also includes incentives designed to push hospitals to better manage cardiac rehabilitation services in the 90 days after discharge, with the aim of improving patient adherence to rehab plans.
The 60-day hiatus also applies to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program that launched last year. Both programs are now on hold until March 21; program elements that were slated to go into effect July 1 are still on track, CMS said.