The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released July 8 the calendar year (CY) 2014 outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) proposed rule. In it, CMS seeks to understand the type and frequency of, as well as payment for, services furnished in off-campus outpatient departments. CMS proposes several options for collecting this information, including applying a claims-based approach or changing how hospitals break out their outpatient costs and charges on the Medicare cost report. The agency invites comments on these proposals. In addition, CMS proposes to increase payment rates by an outpatient department fee schedule increase factor of 1.8 percent for CY 2014. And, the agency suggests collapsing five levels of outpatient visit codes, replacing them with a single health care common procedure coding system (HCPCS) code for each unique type of outpatient hospital visit, including clinic and emergency department visits. CMS also proposes updates to the hospital outpatient quality reporting program and the value-based purchasing program.
Comments on the proposed rule are due to CMS Sept. 6. America’s Essential Hospitals will send a more detailed summary of the proposed rule to members this week. Please contact Xiaoyi Huang, assistant vice president for policy, at 202-585-0127 or firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions.