Some details regarding the PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Reporting Program are available at the QualityNet website for this program.
On June 24, CMS sent an e-mail alert (posted here) noting that it is seeking comments on three candidate measures for the Prospective Payment System (PPS)-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting (PCHQR) Program; comments are due by July 19, 2013, and can be submitted via http://publiccomments.ncqa.org/home.aspx
On August 2, 2013, CMS issued its FY 2014 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) PPS final rule under which gross hospital payments will be $1.2 billion higher in FY 2014 than they were in FY 2013 – much higher than the $27 million increase initially proposed. The final rule addresses a number of IPPS and LTCH payment and quality-related provisions authorized or amended by the ACA.
On May 1, CMS issued a proposed rule updating FY 2015 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and LTCHs. Under the proposed rule, hospitals that participate in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and are ‘meaningful users’ of EHRs would receive a 1.3% payment update. However, the 1.3% rate increase, when coupled with the payment policy reductions – including those under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, the Hospital Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program, Medicare DSH changes as well as “the expiration of certain statutory provisions that provided special temporary increases in payments to hospitals and other proposed changes” – would ultimately decrease IPPS operating payments by approximately 0.8% or $241 million over FY 2015 payment levels. Also of note, gross LTCH payments under the proposed rule would increase by 0.8% or $44 million over FY 2014 payments, with a delay (pursuant to the statutory mandate) in the full application of the 25% Rule patient threshold, among other key LTCH policy changes denoted further below. Comments are due by June 30, 2014. CMS fact sheets are available here and here. A CMS press release is available here.
On August 4, CMS issued a final rule updating FY 2015 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and LTCHs. The final rule also codifies “two interim final rules with comment period relating to criteria for disproportionate share hospital [DSH] uncompensated care payments and extensions of temporary changes to the payment adjustment for low-volume hospitals and of the Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospital (MDH) Program.”
Under the final rule, hospitals that participate in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program and are ‘meaningful users’ of EHRs would receive a 1.4% payment update – up slightly from the agency’s 1.3% proposed increased. However, the 1.4% rate increase, when coupled with payment policy reductions enumerated further below – including reductions under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, changes to Medicare DSH payments, and so forth – are projected to decrease IPPS operating payments by approximately 0.6%” (compared to the net decrease of 0.8% under the proposed rule) – or by roughly $756 million in FY 2015.
CMS also finalized its proposal to continue its slow phase-in of the ATRA’s coding intensity adjustment, leaving ~$8 billion to be recouped in FYs ‘15 and ‘16.
Gross LTCH payments under the final rule would increase by 1.1% – up from the 0.8% CMS put forward in its proposed rule, with a delay (pursuant to the statutory mandate) in the full application of the 25% Rule patient threshold, among other key LTCH policy changes denoted further below.
On Apr. 17, as part of a proposed rule updating FY 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and LTCHs, CMS proposed to remove six surgical care improvement project (SCIP) measures from the PCHQR program.
On July 31, CMS released the FY 16 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital PPS final rule affecting discharges beginning on Oct. 1, 2015. The rule also embeds an interim final rule with comment period effectuating the statutory extension of the Medicare-dependent, small rural hospital Program and changes to the low-volume payment adjustment.
On Apr. 19, CMS released the FY 2017 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital PPS and policy proposed rule that, once, finalized, will apply to discharges beginning on or after Oct. 1, 2016. Under the rule, CMS estimates a net average payment increase of 0.7% (a roughly $539 million increase in spending, including capital) in FY 2017 for the IPPS. For LTCH’s, and stemming largely from the application of statutory site-neutrality provisions in the Pathway for SGR Reform Act, CMS estimates that FY 2017 payments will decrease by an estimated $355 million or -6.9 percent in FY 2017.
On Apr. 21, CMS released a proposal updating Medicare payment regulations for hospices. Under the proposed rule, net Medicare payments to hospices will increase by $330 million or 2.0 percent. The update is based on a market basket of 2.8 percent less a 0.5 percent productivity adjustment and a 0.3 percentage point adjustment set by the ACA.
On Apr. 21, CMS released a proposal updating payment regulations for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs). Under the proposed rule, FY 2017 Medicare payments will increase by $125 million or 1.6 percent across all IRFs compared with FY 2016. This stems from an estimated 1.45 percent increase factor (an IRF-specific market basket estimate of 2.7 percent, minus a 0.5 percent multi-factor productivity adjustment and 0.75 percentage point statutory reduction) plus 0.2 percent for outlier threshold result updates. Table 21 on p. 158 of the public inspection copy provides fuller detail on the estimated payment impacts across facilities (by region, ownership status, etc.)
On July 27, CMS announced that they updated the star ratings on their Hospital Compare website to include an Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating. The Overall Star Rating, CMS says, is a unified rating of one to five stars, drawing from 64 existing quality measures already reported on the site.
On Aug. 2, CMS released the FY 2017 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) PPS and policy final rule. The final rule governs FY 2017 payments to approximately 3,330 acute care hospitals and 430 LTCHs through the IPPS and LTCH PPS, respectively, and effectuates key policy changes. Under the rule, net payments to inpatient hospitals will increase by 0.95 percent on average compared with FY 2016. For the IPPS, the rule finalizes the 1.5 percent documentation and coding recoupment cut, as proposed, and delays the proposed incorporation of S-10 data into uncompensated care calculations. LTCH PPS payments will decrease by 7.1 percent under the LTCH PPS amid the ongoing implementation of site neutrality and will increase by 0.7 percent for cases qualifying for the higher standard rate. The aforementioned provisions are addressed in this regulation.
On April 27, CMS released its proposal to revise the Medicare IPPS/LTCH PPS for FY 2018. This provision of the ACA is addressed in the rule.
On Aug. 3, CMS finalized a rule to revise the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System for FY 2018. This provision of the ACA is addressed in the rule.
SEC. 3005. QUALITY REPORTING FOR PPS-EXEMPT CANCER HOSPITALS. Section 1866 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395cc) is amended— (1) in subsection (a)(1)— (A) in subparagraph (U), by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end; (B) in subparagraph (V), by striking the period at the end and inserting ‘‘, and’’; and (C) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph: ‘‘(W) in the case of a hospital described in section 1886(d)(1)(B)(v), to report quality data to the Secretary in accordance with subsection (k).’’; and (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection: ‘‘(k) QUALITY REPORTING BY CANCER HOSPITALS.— ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of fiscal year 2014 and each subsequent fiscal year, a hospital described in section 1886(d)(1)(B)(v) shall submit data to the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (2) with respect to such a fiscal year. ‘‘(2) SUBMISSION OF QUALITY DATA.—For fiscal year 2014 and each subsequent fiscal year, each hospital described in such section shall submit to the Secretary data on quality measures specified under paragraph (3). Such data shall be submitted in a form and manner, and at a time, specified by the Secretary for purposes of this subparagraph. ‘‘(3) QUALITY MEASURES.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subparagraph (B), any measure specified by the Secretary under this paragraph must have been endorsed by the entity with a contract under section 1890(a). ‘‘(B) EXCEPTION.—In the case of a specified area or medical topic determined appropriate by the Secretary for which a feasible and practical measure has not been endorsed by the entity with a contract under section 1890(a), the Secretary may specify a measure that is not so endorsed as long as due consideration is given to measures that have been endorsed or adopted by a consensus organization identified by the Secretary. ‘‘(C) TIME FRAME.—Not later than October 1, 2012, the Secretary shall publish the measures selected under this paragraph that will be applicable with respect to fiscal year 2014. ‘‘(4) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF DATA SUBMITTED.—The Secretary shall establish procedures for making data submitted under paragraph (4) available to the public. Such procedures shall ensure that a hospital described in section 1886(d)(1)(B)(v) has the opportunity to review the data that is to be made public with respect to the hospital prior to such data being made public. The Secretary shall report quality measures of process, structure, outcome, patients’ perspective on care, efficiency, and costs of care that relate to services furnished in such hospitals on the Internet website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.’’.