A bill introduced Wednesday would delay a Medicare bundled payment program set to go into effect next week but which many health providers say was rushed.
The rule, which was finalized in November, requires hospitals in nearly 70 regions to accept bundled payments for hip and knee replacements. This means there would be one price per patient that included the procedure and follow-up care. The CMS projects that the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement payment model will save $343 million in five years.
Hospital systems, provider networks and medical professional groups said in comments on the rule that they needed more time to figure out how to coordinate the care and payments. They continued to balk when the CMS pushed back implementation by only three months to April 1.
The bill by Georgia Reps. Tom Price, a Republican, and David Scott, a Democrat, would push implementation to January 2018. In a statement, Price said rushing the requirement could be detrimental to quality of care.
“At the very least, a delay in implementation is warranted to give all involved time to better assess, review, and weigh the impact and consequences of this proposal and more adequately prepare so patients are protected,” he said.
The House of Representatives is adjourned until April 11, and the Senate is not scheduled to meet in regular session again until April 4.
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons applauded the move in a news release.
“The model mandated by the CMS requires comprehensive planning and coordination between hospitals, physicians, and post-acute care providers, as well as complete infrastructural support,” it read. AAOS says it supports the measure to improve quality and lower cost, but wants stakeholders to have the time to prepare for change in order to avoid any disruption to normal patient access and care patterns.