US Supreme Court to review Medicare payments ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review an appeals court ruling that HHS improperly altered its methods for calculating Medicare payments in 2012, according to a Law360 report.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after HHS sought review of a July 2017 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The appeals court ruled that HHS must conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking before instructing Medicare administrative contractors on disproportionate share hospital payments, which reimburse hospitals for care delivered to indigent patients.

Hospitals challenged the federal government's decision based on interpretation of a rule to include Part C enrollees with Part A enrollees when calculating DSH payments. They said the changes resulted in lower payments to hospitals and was done without notice-and-comment rulemaking.

HHS called on the U.S. Supreme Court to take another look at the appeals court decision because the agency contends it "creates a circuit split by holding that … notice-and-comment procedures apply to interpretive rules."


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