The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized another delay of the start date for new episode payment models (EPMs) for cardiac care and cardiac rehabilitation (CR) incentive payment. The delay also applies to an extension of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model.

The cardiac models’ first performance year now will start Jan. 1, 2018, and end Dec. 31, 2018. Additionally, CMS finalized a further delay until Jan. 1, 2018, of the effective date of the CJR regulation amendments that were set to take effect Oct. 1.

CMS in March published an interim final rule with comment period that delayed until May 20 the effective date of the EPM final rule, and delayed until Oct. 1 the applicability date of the regulations. The rule also delayed until Oct. 1 the effective date of certain conforming changes to CJR provisions.

CMS believes the further delay of the new EPMs and extension of the CR incentive payment model will give participants adequate time to evaluate the final model provisions, develop specific EPM care plans, and update health information technology, among other preparations. Notably, CMS clarified that the further delay of certain conforming changes to the CJR regulations is unlikely to have an effect on most eligible clinicians aiming to achieve alternative payment model (APM) qualifying participant status for 2017.

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