Trump Order Pauses CMS Bundles

President Trump’s recent executive order freezing new regulations has pushed back the implementation of new and expanded bundled payment models by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by 60 days.

A final rule issued in December by CMS creates mandatory bundled payment programs for cardiac conditions, and expands an existing bundled payment program for joint replacement episodes for Medicare beneficiaries.

There are still mixed feelings within the industry about whether these bundled payment programs would indeed help control costs and keep quality high for patients.

Industry leaders like Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) think CMS is jumping the gun a bit with programs that haven’t been proven effective just yet.

The newly appointed secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tom Price has also been a critic of mandatory bundled payment programs, which may be a factor in why the administration hit pause.

CMS however still stands behind the thought that bundled payments are bringing more people to home health care.

“We believe these models will further our goals of improving the efficiency and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries receiving care for these common clinical conditions and procedures,” CMS said in a Federal Register Friday.

The halt of the CMS rule is just one of the numerous freezes President Trump has already implemented throughout various industries in his short 28 days in office.

With the broad-reaching impact of the executive orders, more delays could be in store for home health regulations.

Written by Alana Stramowski