On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program (CJR). Seven changes were published with the final rule including a new start date of April 1, 2016, and a reduction of the number of trial geographical areas from 75 to 67. “It will also scrap its initial plan for paying hospitals – a plan based on whether hospitals could hit a ‘target price’ for a given procedure without a loss of quality – in favor of a new quality score, in order to provide stronger incentives for more hospitals to improve quality,” according to US News & World Report. The article includes quotes from AAHKS members who were interviewed for the story.
In September, AAHKS sent comments to CMS with a report that followed the AAHKS Patient Reported Outcomes Summit for Total Joint Arthroplasty. Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. has created summaries of both the CJR final rule and the major AAHKS comments on the proposed rule, with CMS’ response in the final rule. There are several issues to which CMS did not respond or provided a vague response which AAHKS will follow up on with CMS in future meetings.