In a major change of events the Center of Medical and Medicaid services recently lifted the requirement for participating in bundled payment initiatives. Earlier this year, the Health Service agency proposed to reduce the count of geographical areas participating in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) along with cancelling the mandatory Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive payment model and Episode Payment Models.

The Administrative Department of the CMS supported their vision for the change by outlining the positive impact it will have on the opportunities that stakeholders will have input on model designs along with the flexibility that will come in the episode-based models. Although the decision attracted some heat from American Hospital Associations. They raised their concern in favor of the organizations who have been continuously spending major financial resources in order to prepare themselves to participate.

This has raised several questions in relation to the future of alternative payment models and the idea of mandatory participation. But CMS has ensured that understanding the importance of the matter they will be developing new models in order to increase the future participation in the event. They backed. Recent studies have confirmed that the Bundle payment initiatives have a positive impact on both “quality of care” and “low cost” in spite of the fact that the structure is far from perfect. The proposed change will surely be an important factor in deciding the future of the BPCI structure.