Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CMS to Look at Short Inpatient Stays and Two-Midnight Policy

Dana Halvorson


According to an April 20 Inside Health Policy article by Michelle Stein, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has noted that it plans to address a broad set of issues around short inpatient stays and the two-midnights hospital admissions policy in the hospital outpatient pay rule this summer, including recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommendations. More details on the April 2 MedPAC meeting on hospital short stay policy issues can be found on the MedPAC site and in the AHCA press statement on the Commission’s vote. 

In the April 20 Inside Health Policy article, “the agency [CMS] acknowledges that stakeholders for years have raised concerns about short inpatient hospital stays, long outpatient stays with beneficiaries under observation, and ‘Medicare policies with respect to when payment for short hospital stays is appropriate under Medicare Part A.’ The agency says that even though CMS has taken steps to address these concerns, like shortening the RAC look-back period for patient status reviews and laying out a series of improvements the agency plans to implement once new RAC contracts can be implemented, hospitals and doctors are still upset.”

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