The CMS finalized widely panned proposals on new quality measures and site-neutral payments and declined to say whether the agency plans to extend the enforcement delay on the two-midnight rule governing short hospital stays.
The CMS lowered its final increase for hospital rates in 2016 to a scant 0.9%, down from the 1.1% increase it proposed in April. The move will heighten pressure on the nation's 3,400 acute-care hospitals to rein in costs and reduce unnecessary spending.
The CMS has proposed paying healthcare providers for time spent with patients discussing end-of-life medical choices, starting Jan 1. Experts say frank conversations would cut costs and unnecessary, sometimes harmful procedures.
Medicare will pay for women to get a joint Pap smear and human papillomavirus test every five years to screen for cervical cancer, according to a final national coverage decision released Thursday.
Home health agencies are dismayed with a CMS proposal issued late Monday that cuts Medicare rates by $350 million while also rolling out a new value-based purchasing system called for under the Affordable Care Act.
In an effort to improve outcomes at the nation's 6,000 dialysis facilities, Medicare plans to cut reimbursement rates up to 2% if the facilities perform poorly on an expanded set of quality metrics.
The CMS wants to cut reimbursement rates for outpatient services. Provider groups immediately slammed the proposals, saying they undervalue outpatient care.
The CMS proposed a 0.3% rate increase for end-stage renal disease services for 2016. The proposal also modifies Medicare's quality incentive program for dialysis providers.
The federal government has expanded its investigation into DaVita HealthCare Partners' Medicare Advantage risk-adjustment practices, DaVita revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday.
New CMS guidelines intended to ensure Medicaid managed care plans are adequately reimbursed will frustrate state agencies and create paperwork the CMS might not have the staff to handle, according to the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
HHS has signaled its intent to more rigorously enforce the anti-kickback statute against individual physicians who enter into improper payment deals, following a dozen recent civil settlements involving doctors.
Hospitals contend that their high and extremely variable chargemaster prices shown in new CMS data are misleading because very few patients are asked to pay them. But the rates are a growing concern as more patients face unexpected out-of-network bills.