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CMS Delays Effective Date of Joint Replacement Model Provisions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has delayed until March 21 the effective date of certain technical changes made to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model.

The delay is in accordance with a “regulatory freeze” set forth in a recent White House memorandum. It is limited to minor changes made to the CJR model under a final rule issued in December, such as small adjustments on quality scores, and a new track of the CJR that meets advanced alternative payment model criteria under the Quality Payment Program. The delay should not affect regular operations for providers working under current bundled payment models.

The final rule’s new and expanded models will continue to have a start date of July 1. Those models bundle payment to acute care hospitals for heart attack and cardiac bypass surgery services, as well as expand the CJR model to include hip and femur fractures and create a cardiac rehabilitation services incentive model.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Maryellen Guinan is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.