The CMS has not met several requirements for the value-based purchasing program established in last year's healthcare reform act, the American Hospital Association asserted in a 14-page comment letter (PDF) to the agency.
AHA criticizes CMS on value-based purchasing program
The comments were sent to CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick as the AHA's response to the hospital value-based purchasing portion of CMS' hospital outpatient prospective payment system proposed rule for 2012.
One area of concern relates to a posting of information on the federal Hospital Compare website. "At this writing, CMS has failed to meet the statutory Hospital Compare posting requirement with respect to the Medicare spending-per-beneficiary measure, the hospital-acquired conditions and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality composite measures that it has included in the VBP program," AHA Executive Vice President Richard Pollack wrote. "By failing to post these measures on Hospital Compare for a minimum of one year prior to the start of these measures' performance periods, CMS is not complying with the law."
Meanwhile, the AHA expressed concern about the way the CMS has handled both the notice and comment period for the value-based purchasing program. "CMS made significant changes to this program in three separate regulations," the letter said. "It has been very difficult to track all of the moving pieces associated with these regulations," it continued. "Further, the CMS has created timing issues both for itself and the public around outpatient proposals that were reliant on inpatient proposals that were not finalized well into the outpatient comment period."
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