Evaluating the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative. CMS released the fifth evaluation report for the BPCI Initiative, which tests whether linking payments for all providers that furnish Medicare-covered services during an episode of care related to an inpatient hospitalization can reduce expenditures while maintaining or improving quality of care. For Model 2, the most comprehensive model, 8 percent of hospitals initiating episodes were in rural areas. Rural participants reported challenges with scarcity of potential partners (e.g., primary care physicians, specialists, and community services); lack of knowledge of programs such as BPCI among providers; and limited internal staffing resources. However, they also reported that being a rural provider did not affect their ability to collaborate with post-acute care providers because they had developed relationships or collaborative efforts prior to BPCI. The Innovation Center also announced participants to the new BPCI-Advanced Model.