The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said its new outlier policy, which could be unveiled as soon as next week, will be subject to a comment period instead of becoming immediately effective as CMS Administrator Tom Scully had initially sought. The length of the comment period was unknown at deadline. The proposed rule is partly a response to questionable payments to Tenet Healthcare Corp. and likely will include new thresholds for outlier payments aimed at preventing abuse. The decision to issue a proposed rule, instead of a final rule, follows pressure from members of Congress and the White House Office of Management and Budget, sources said. Several lawmakers urged a transition period to allow hospitals time to adjust to the new policy. In response, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said in a letter to colleagues this week that a transition period would "tacitly condone potentially fraudulent behavior." -- by Jeff Tieman
CMS to seek comments on new outlier policy
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