On Monday, Aug. 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) released its final Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule. Overall, the rule will increase IPPS rates by a net of 2.5% in fiscal year 2022 compared to 2021.
Notably, CMS decided to delay finalizing its proposed way of implementing the 1,000 new Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) slots authorized in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. WHA in its comment letter had expressed concerns that CMS's proposed method of capping new slots at 1.0 full-time employee (FTE) per hospital without taking into consideration the length of the residency could limit the utility of receiving a new slot. For instance, a hospital receiving a slot under CMS's proposal would only create a new physician once every three-to-five years (depending on the length of the residency). WHA urged CMS to change the policy so a hospital receiving a slot would be able to produce a new physician every year, which is in line with Wisconsin's current highly successful GME grant program crafted by WHA that has created 125 new slots for Wisconsin.
CMS stated that due to the large number and nature of comments it received, it is continuing to review the comments and will address them in a separate document.
CMS also finalized a number of quality data reporting and promoting interoperability (PI) program measures. Despite concerns from WHA and others about extending the PI electronic health record reporting period to a continuous 180-day period, CMS indicated it intends to go ahead with that for 2024. The agency also said it will go ahead with its quality measures suppression, in line with comments made by WHA and others supporting these proposals. Unfortunately, it is also proceeding with its proposal to require the reporting of health care worker vaccinations as a quality measure, despite concerns raised by WHA and others.
The entire final rule is available here. Contact WHA Vice President of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter with questions.