A new interim rule released Monday delays the expansion and implementation of major bundled payment initiatives and calls into question whether the new White House administration is committed to the programs. In the interim rule (PDF), posted to Monday’s Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Delays the implementation of the mandatory cardiac bundle program and cardiac rehabilitation program from July 1 to Oct. 1. Postpones the expansion of the mandatory joint replacement bundle program to include other treatments for hip and femur fractures in addition to hip replacement from July 1 to Oct 1. These programs were part of a final rule issued in December, but CMS says the additional three-month delay allows the agency more time to review comments and modify the policy if necessary. But the postponement also calls into question the future of the program. Newly appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is not a fan of mandatory bundled payment initiatives. The former congressman has opposed mandates for bundled payments and last year wrote a letter to CMS, claiming the agency overstepped its bounds by requiring bundled payments because they took the decision away from patients and physicians.