Doctors, hospitals and other health care providers can apply to participate in a Medicare demonstration that will bundle payment for an episode of inpatient and/or post-acute care in an effort to better coordinate care for patients and reduce costs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act demonstration offers applicants four approaches to bundled payments, three involving a retrospective payment arrangement with a target price for a defined episode of care and one involving a single prospective payment for all services furnished during an inpatient stay. The first retrospective arrangement defines the episode of care as the inpatient stay in a general acute-care hospital; the second as an inpatient stay plus 30-90 days of post-acute care; and the third as 30 or more days of post-acute care. Organizations must submit a letter of intent by Sept. 22 for payment model 1 and Nov. 4 for payment models 2, 3 and 4. For more on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation demonstration, visit www.innovations.cms.gov.