Judge Rules Again Against CMS Site-Neutral Cuts

October 24, 2019

Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer has rejected the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent motion asking her to reconsider her September ruling that found CMS illegally cut payments to off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) in the CMS 2019 outpatient payment rule. CMS had asked the court for either another chance to craft the cuts in a legal manner or issue a 60-day stay to give CMS time to appeal.

Judge Collyer ruled against both CMS requests. In her Oct. 21 ruling, Collyer reasoned that no new information would change the fact that CMS had issued reimbursement cuts contrary to statute, saying “. . . CMS put forth an impermissible interpretation of the statutory scheme; no amount of new data or reasoning on remand can save its interpretation.”

The ruling is another victory for hospitals impacted by CMS’ original cuts. However, CMS is still expected to appeal the original ruling from September, meaning there could still be lengthy additional litigation before the issue is decided. CMS is also expected to issue its final 2020 outpatient rule, which contained the same cuts, by Nov. 1.

WHA is continuing to keep a close watch on this issue and will provide updates as needed. For questions, contact WHA Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter.

This story originally appeared in the October 24, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter