Providers will no longer have to disclose their contract terms with Medicare Advantage insurers after CMS signed off on its 2022 inpatient pay rule Monday.
The final rule gives providers a 2.5% bump for inpatient services payments, or $2.3 billion more than 2021. CMS expects Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments and Medicare uncompensated costs to fall by $1.4 billion compared to 2021. Long-term care hospitals will also get a 1.1% raise, a boost of $42 million. In addition, Medicare will continue paying add-on payments for COVID-19 treatments through the end of the fiscal year in which the pandemic ends.
"Providing these therapies to COVID-19 patients early can help reduce hospital stays and deaths," CMS said in a statement.
CMS didn't approve its controversial changes to organ acquisition payments or graduate medical education slots. The agency promised to address both issues in future rules.
Hospitals and long-term care facilities will also have to report COVID-19 vaccination rates for their workers. CMS also added a new maternal morbidity measurement to its inpatient quality reporting program. Hospitals will have to report whether they participate in statewide or national efforts to improve perinatal health.
"Many of the factors contributing to maternal morbidity are preventable and differentially impact women of color. This measure is an important initial step toward implementation of patient safety practices to reduce maternal morbidity, and in turn, maternal mortality," CMS said in a statement.
The agency didn't add any other health equity-related measures to its reporting requirements, as officials are still figuring out how to incorporate the feedback it received from stakeholders.
"Standardization of equity data to improve hospital data collection is just one more way CMS will lead the national conversation on improving health equity," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement. "CMS will use these comments and innovate on quality measures to help identify health equity data."
Hospitals will also have to share more data with public health agencies as part of a nationwide effort to monitor emergency outbreaks and threats, automate case and laboratory reporting, and track vaccination rates.
CMS also approved 19 new technologies for add-on payments and will continue add-on payments for all 23 technologies that currently receive an add-on payment.