Hospitals respond to CMS' proposed inpatient payment rule: 5 key takeaways

The American Hospital Association, which represents nearly 5,000 hospitals, issued a response to CMS' proposed Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule for 2022, which recommends removing some price transparency requirements. 

Five key takeaways from the AHA's response:

1. Hospitals seek a delay of CMS' proposal to require them to report COVID-19 vaccination information about their workforce. The AHA is urging CMS to delay a requirement to report COVID-19 vaccine information about their staff. Hospitals say it's too early to report this information because COVID-19 vaccines have been available for six months, and questions remain about how long the vaccines will protect people.

2. Hospitals support repealing some price transparency requirements. CMS proposed repealing the requirement to report median payer-specific negotiated rates by Medicare severity-diagnosis related group, with Medicare Advantage insurers. CMS said this will reduce administrative burden on hospitals by about 64,000 hours. The AHA strongly supports the repeal of this requirement. 

3. Hospitals seek changes to CMS' proposed changes involving Graduate Medical Education and indirect medical education payments. CMS proposed changing its methodology to award a maximum of one full-time equivalent residency slot per hospital per year and said it would prioritize residency slot distribution by health professional shortage area scores. "Such a limitation is unworkable and unproductive and such a prioritization method reflects neither statutory intent nor the reality of teaching hospital service areas," the AHA said. 

4. Hospitals support add-on payment for COVID-19 treatment. The proposed rule would extend the add-on payment for COVID-19 treatment through the end of the fiscal year in which the public health emergency ends. The AHA supports this proposal. 

5. Hospitals are concerned about proposed organ acquisition payment changes. CMS currently reimburses transplant hospitals for the costs of organ acquisition, transplant surgery, inpatient and post-transplant provisions, but CMS proposed modifying and adding new reporting requirements before hospitals can obtain the payments. The AHA said "it would be impossible for hospitals to comply" with the new reporting requirements, and, as a result, their payments would be cut for noncompliance. 

Read the AHA's full response here

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