- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday released its proposed 2016 prospective payment rule, which includes a 1.1% bump in inpatient reimbursement for hospitals that participate in quality reporting programs.
- Hospitals that do not participate in quality reporting programs "will be subject to a one-fourth reduction of the market basket update," the agency said. "Also, the law requires that the update for any hospital that is not a meaningful EHR user will be reduced by one-half of the market basket update in fiscal year 2016."
- The agency also recognized the level of criticism it has received on the controversial two-midnight rule for inpatient admissions and said that it will release a proposed rule on the hospital outpatient prospective payment system sometime this summer.
The 2016 increase represents a slight drop from 2015's 1.4% increase, and the American Hospital Association is not impressed: "These very modest increases will make it even more challenging for hospitals to deliver care patients and communities expect," the association said in a statement. The agency proposed little change to the quality reporting program itself—adding eight new measures that don't kick in until fiscal year 2018.
Meanwhile, the two-midnight rule is already on a six-month delay thanks to the passage of the doc fix bill, which repealed the sustainable growth rate formula and delayed enforcement of the much-hated policy.