The AHA today submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ hospital inpatient prospective payment system proposed rule for fiscal year 2020. “We support a number of the inpatient PPS proposed rule’s provisions, including increasing the wage index values for low-wage hospitals and implementing a 90-day reporting period for attestation for the Promoting Interoperability Program,” AHA wrote. “At the same time, we have serious concerns with other proposals. In particular, we strongly urge CMS not to apply budget neutrality to increases in wage index values for low-wage hospitals, as the agency is not bound to do so by statute. In addition, we strongly urge CMS not to finalize its proposed Complication or Comorbidity/Major Complication or Comorbidity changes and, instead, work towards providing more information and transparency regarding its methodology and data in future rulemaking.” AHA also said the proposed increase in the rate of New Technology Add-on Payments from 50% to 65% “is a step in the right direction. However, we continue to believe that a higher NTAP for [Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy] is needed to ensure beneficiary access to these therapies. We, therefore, urge CMS to make NTAPs for CAR T at a uniform rate of 100%. We also urge CMS to consider an alternative method of determining the cost of the CAR T therapy.”

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