The AHA yesterday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to offer two additional start date options for the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced model in 2019 – Jan. 1 and April 1. “These additional start dates would expand the opportunities for applicants to be part of the initial BPCI Advanced cohorts, enabling CMS to pilot the program with a greater number of well-informed participants,” AHA wrote. “Further, by making these start dates optional, CMS can still allow applicants who feel ready to begin by the original program start date of Oct. 1, 2018 to do so.” CMS planned to release data on episode target prices and summary and raw claims data to applicants in May, but many have yet to receive it, leaving fewer than two months to analyze the data before the Aug. 1 deadline to sign participation agreements. “For hospitals, particularly large hospitals and health systems that operate several facilities and/or in multiple markets, this truncated timeline makes it nearly impossible to make an informed decision about participation in BPCI Advanced, and may lead them to forgo participation altogether,” AHA said.