Kansas hospital struggles to regain Medicare contract due to two-night rule

Overland Park, Kan.-based Blue Valley Hospital hasn't been able to bill Medicare since losing its contract in April 2018, according to NPR affiliate KCUR.

CMS requires a healthcare facility to average at least two inpatients per day and an at least two-night average length of stay to be considered an inpatient hospital for Medicare reimbursement. Facilities that fall short of these requirements may instead be considered same-day surgery centers, which have different reimbursement rates. CMS said Blue Valley Hospital doesn't meet the federal requirements.

On March 27, the hospital hit another roadblock. A federal appeals court upheld on procedural grounds a lower court's dismissal of Blue Valley's lawsuit against HHS and CMS challenging the Medicare termination decision.

Blue Valley's lawyer, Randy Schultz, told KCUR that the hospital will try to bring its case before CMS. The hospital has argued the two-night rule is unlawful, calling it "arbitrary and capricious."

Editor's note: The orginial headline of this article mistakenly reffered to Blue Valley Hospital as located in Missorui, not Kansas. We regret this error.

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