The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is reminding providers of the Nov. 4 deadline for submitting a letter of intent to participate in three of four Medicare bundled payment programs (Models 2-4) announced in August. CMS has also issued additional guidance.

The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative will bundle payment across provider sites for multiple services rendered during an episode of care, defined as a single hospital stay and/or recovery from the stay.

The four payment models are:

* Model 1: An acute care hospital stay only,

* Model 2: The acute care stay plus associated post-acute care,

* Model 3: Just the post-acute care following discharge, and

* Model 4: A single prospective bundled payment that would encompass all services during an inpatient stay by the hospital, physicians and other providers.

Medicare will provide historical claims data to prepare for models 2 through 4. Organizations wanting the data must file a separate research request packet and data use agreement with the letter of intent.

Medicare is clarifying its requirements for filing the packet and data use agreement, which also have a Nov. 4 deadline:

"We apologize for any confusion regarding file formatting and digital signatures," according to a new notice. "We would like to clarify at this time that applicants will not be able to and should not digitally sign Research Request Packets, Data Use Agreements (DUAs), or DUA Signature Addenda. You will need to print, sign, scan and e-mail these documents to instead of submitting them in searchable digital format. Only documents submitted via e-mail will be accepted."

However, the letters of intent must be submitted in a searchable digital format.


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