AHA Asks CMS to Delay Deadline for Low-Volume Payment Adjustment

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The American Hospital Association has asked CMS to extend the deadline for hospitals to apply for a six-month extension of the Low-Volume Hospital program payment adjustment, according to an AHA News report.

In order to receive the extension, CMS has specified qualified hospitals must notify their Medicare administrative contractors in writing by Monday. The agency issued a final rule on March 14 extending  the Medicare Dependent Hospital and Low-Volume Hospital programs through the first six months of fiscal year 2014 (through March 31), in accordance with the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013. Both programs expired last October.

In a letter to CMS, AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack wrote that the time between the final rule's release and the deadline wasn't long enough notice for qualified hospitals, according to the report. "We urge CMS to extend this deadline to allow hospitals a minimum of 30 days to submit the documentation necessary to qualify for the Low-Volume payment adjustment," he wrote.

The LVH Program affects hospitals in rural communities that may not serve a high-volume of patients. These hospitals get enhanced reimbursements if they are more than 15 road miles from another comparable hospital and have less than 1,600 Medicare discharges per year. Hospitals must verify in writing to their MACs that they still meet these requirements in order to receive the six-month extension.

More Articles on the Low-Volume Payment Adjustment:
Hospitals Must Apply for Low-Volume Payment Adjustment Extension by April 1  
CMS to Extend Low-Volume, Medicare-Dependent Hospital Payment Programs  
AHA to Congress: Extend Rural Medicare Provisions 

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