The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) delayed the release of the calendar year (CY) 2014 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule because of the partial government shutdown. CMS intends to issue the final rule on or before Nov. 27. The rule will become effective Jan. 1, 2014, which remains unchanged. In the proposed rule, CMS sought to understand the type and frequency of, as well as payment for, services furnished in off-campus outpatient departments. In addition, CMS proposed collapsing existing levels of outpatient visit codes, replacing them with a single level code for each unique type of outpatient hospital visit, including clinic and emergency department visits.
America’s Essential Hospitals submitted comments to CMS on the CY 2014 OPPS proposed rule, suggesting CMS convene a workgroup that includes the hospital industry to better understand the type of care provided in off-campus outpatient departments. Also, the association urged CMS to delay its proposal to collapse existing levels of outpatient visit codes until the agency can provide information hospitals can use to evaluate the impact of and meaningfully comment on this proposal.