The Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH) received a new final rule from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week. The rule helps providers by dropping a requirement that would have forced hospitals to disclose their contract terms with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and increases payment for inpatient services by 2.5%.
The final rule is designed to boost Biden administration priorities to rein in equity gaps and expand access to diagnostics and therapies, Healthcare Dive reports. The 2.5% pay increase for acute hospitals is lower than the 2.8% proposed in the initial draft of the rule and lower than the increase for 2021 — 2.9% — but “largely within the range of market expectations.” Long-term care hospitals will also get a 1.1% raise, or $42 million.
CMS also added a new maternal morbidity metric to its inpatient quality reporting program, Modern Healthcare notes. Hospitals will have to report whether they participate in efforts to improve perinatal health. From the CMS statement:
Many of the factors contributing to maternal morbidity are preventable and differentially impact women of color. This measure is an important initial step toward implementation of patient safety practices to reduce maternal morbidity, and in turn, maternal mortality.
The agency did not approve changes to organ acquisition payments or graduate medical education slots. Furthermore, it didn’t add any other health equity related measures to its reporting requirements, which is due to a lengthy process of working with stakeholders to incorporate feedback. From CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure:
Standardization of equity data to improve hospital data collection is just one more way CMS will lead the national conversation on improving health equity. CMS will use these comments and innovate on quality measures to help identify health equity data.
The American Hospital Association largely supported the IPPS announcement and voiced its appreciation in a statement from executive vice president Stacey Hughes:
We continue to urge the agency to engage with stakeholders, including providers, in developing any modifications. We also appreciate that CMS is continuing to review comments on proposed changes related to Medicare-funded residency slots and we look forward to working with them to develop a workable policy to help ease current physician shortages and strengthen the health care delivery system.
The final rule follows an announcement from CMS last Thursday that it will delay adjustments to nursing homes’ Patient Driven Payment Model until next year and will only give providers a 1.2% pay raise for 2022. From CMS via McKnight’s:
In light of … comments, as well as the importance of addressing any existing overpayments under the SNF PPS, we intend to utilize these comments to refine the data we have collected in developing a proposed methodology that will be included in the FY 2023 SNF PPS Proposed Rule.
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