- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced on Wednesday that it is delaying enforcement of the "two midnight" rule until April 30, an additional month after the previous deadline.
- The delay is intended to give Congress a chance to pass the "doc fix" bill, which includes a six-month delay in the enforcement of the rule.
- The rule governing inpatient stays was originally announced in 2013, but its enforcement has been repeatedly put off as providers argue that it undermines clinical decision-making. The most recent delay ended on March 31.
"Given potential Congressional action on H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, CMS will continue the Inpatient Probe and Educate process until April 30, 2015, and will continue to prohibit Recovery Auditor inpatient hospital patient status reviews for dates of admission occurring between October 1, 2013 and April 30, 2015," the agency wrote. "CMS believes this extension will allow for continued education and promote further understanding of the policy."
Wait and see, in other words. The Senate reconvenes on April 13 and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Reuters that the chamber will "return to it very quickly when we get back." McConnell also expressed confidence in the bill's passage: "I think there's every reason to believe it's going to pass the Senate by a very large majority," McConnell said. President Obama has already indicated that he will sign the legislation if it passes.