Live Blog: What's New in Cohort 2

While much of Cohort 2 will mirror the first round of BPCI Advanced, CMS has already made some adjustments for the next group that will start the program on January 1, 2020. As they continue to announce updates, we’ll keep you informed here on our live blog. Come back weekly to check for new updates. 

CMS announces open window for Cohort 2
Announced 4/24/19

CMS announced that the application window for Cohort 2 of BPCI Advanced (Model Year 3) is open. The window runs through June 24, 2019, and is currently the last planned open window for applications for the voluntary program.

CMS has also added four new inpatient bundles:

  • Bariatric Surgery

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Seizures

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) (read what we wrote about TAVRs last month)

TKA added to outpatient bundles
Announced 3/21/19

BPCI Advanced currently consists of 32 bundled clinical episodes (29 inpatient and 3 outpatient). In Cohort 2, CMS will add a new selection of clinical episodes to Model Year 3, which will include outpatient Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA).

Orthopedic practices in Cohort 1 saw a decline in major lower joint (MJRLE) volume as a result of total knee replacements being reimbursed as hospital outpatient visits, which were not an eligible outpatient bundle in Cohort 1. Adding TKA to outpatient clinical episodes will help many practices with this volume issue, and offer a new opportunity for providers to practice innovation and care redesign to improve quality and reduce expenditures.

Changes to the Secondary Repayment Source (SRS) Requirement for PGPs
Announced 2/27/19

The original BPCI Advanced Participation Agreement required convener participants or non-convener participants that were a physician group practice (PGP) to put a specified Secondary Repayment Source (SRS) amount in an escrow account or establish a letter of credit for the guaranteed SRS amount. For PGPs, the sizable SRS requirement created significant cash-flow challenges. Prior to the March 1, 2019 deadline to drop from the program risk-free, CMS announced an amendment to the Participation Agreement to remove the SRS requirement for non-convener participants that were PGPs, in acknowledgement that CMS had authority to recoup BPCI Advanced debt owed under BPCI Advanced through ongoing Medicare payments. This amendment is one example of how CMS incorporates feedback from participants to make ongoing improvements to its alternative payment programs.