AHA today applauded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for proposing a 12-month regulatory pause on full implementation of the 25% Rule for long-term care hospitals and urged the agency to permanently rescind the rule. Commenting on the proposed LTCH prospective payment system rule for fiscal year 2018, AHA also voiced support for CMS’s proposal to change the existing short-stay outlier policy by replacing the various payment options with a single graduated per diem adjustment, but urged the agency not to apply the related budget neutrality factor in FY 2018. In addition, AHA expressed concern that CMS continues to apply a duplicative budget neutral adjustment to site-neutral payments. “As Medicare approaches the end of the transition from the single-rate LTCH PPS to the dual-rate version of the payment system, we ask CMS to examine access to care for those site-neutral cases that require specialized high-resource LTCH services,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. AHA also recommended CMS reconsider the adoption of newly proposed and revised measures for the FY 2020 LTCH Quality Reporting Program.

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