CMS Finalizes FY2018 Hospital Rule, Will Not Require Public Display of AO Survey Reports
Other Issues Subject to NAHC Comment Addressed
August 14, 2017 02:22 PM
In mid-April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed regulation: Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Fiscal Year 2018 Rates; CMS-1677-P, which contained a number of provisions relevant to various types of Medicare providers. Earlier this summer, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) submitted a comment letter on the rule that addressed three issues. On August 3, CMS posted the FY2018 hospital inpatient rule in final and the document will be published in the Federal Register on August 14. Following are the actions that CMS took related to the issues that NAHC provided comment on.
Potential Future Use of Four End-of-Life (EOL) Measures for Cancer Patients as part of the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program: NAHC expressed support for future use of these measures and encouraged development of similar measures for other key diagnoses beyond cancer care. CMS did not take specific action on these as part of the final rule because the agency was only seeking input on what the public’s view would be if CMS were to proposed inclusion of these measures at some future date.
Permitting Medicare Providers to Utilize Electronic Signatures for Submission of their Cost Report Certification and Settlement Summary: CMS finalized the proposal allowing providers to utilize an electronic signature (in lieu of an original signature) and to submit electronically the cost report certification and settlement summary document. In an effort to hasten the time frame for permitting this increased flexibility, CMS has decided to make this change effective for cost reporting periods ending on or after December 31, 2017. CMS did not providesignificant commentary on additional recommendations submitted in response to the proposed change, including a number that were submitted by NAHC, except to convey that some suggestions submitted were beyond the scope of the proposed rule.
Requiring National Accrediting Organizations (AOs) to Publish Medicare Provider/Supplier Final Accreditation Survey Reports and Acceptable Plans of Correction (PoC) for the most recent three years publicly available on their Websites (see previous NAHC Report coverage here). As part of the final rule, CMS indicated that in response to the public comments received it will not finalize this proposed change as the Social Security Act prohibits CMS from disclosing survey reports or compelling AOs to disclose their reports themselves.