Amid administrative changeover and potential shifts in the future, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is moving ahead to expand its mandatory bundled payment programs related to cardiac care and joint replacement. And there’s good news for physical therapists (PTs): the new rule will make it possible for PTs to receive incentive bonus payments for joint replacement care provided in 2017 as part of a bundled care program.
Under an updated Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program beginning on January 1, 2017, clinicians, including PTs, will receive additional opportunities to qualify for a 5% payment bump through the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) path. Clinicians using the new accountable care organization “Track 1+ Model”—a program with a slightly more limited downside risk, designed for smaller practices—could earn the bonuses for care delivered in 2018. The new avenues to incentives were opened up when CMS decided to include the bundling models in its list of qualified APMs.