CMS to reward hospitals for high-quality, equitable care

CMS will increase payments to hospitals for treating homeless patients and implementing equitable quality measures aimed at reducing preventable harm, the agency said Aug. 1. 

The Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program will increase eligible hospitals' operating payment rates 3.1 percent for fiscal year 2024. The payment increase is part of the 2024 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule.

"As part of CMS' health equity goals, we are rewarding hospitals that deliver high-quality care to underserved populations and, for the first time, also recognizing the higher costs that hospitals incur when treating people experiencing homelessness," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement.

Along with the financial incentive, CMS changed its severity designation for three codes related to homelessness. Three homelessness ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes — unspecified, sheltered and unsheltered — were changed from non-complication or comorbidity to complication or comorbidity because of "the higher average resource costs of cases with these diagnosis codes compared to similar cases without these codes," the agency said in a fact sheet on the new rule. 

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