In a letter sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Scott A. Duke, president/CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, urged the agency to delay, for at least a year, implementation of site-neutral policies contained within its proposed outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) rule.

In the letter, which was also shared with South Dakota’s congressional delegation, Duke stressed that CMS has a responsibility to develop mechanisms to provide reasonable payment systems for hospitals, and that the agency should delay implementation until it addresses the current flawed process.

A delay would allow CMS the time to develop fair and flexible policies under which hospitals would be able to receive direct payment for newer off-campus provider-based hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). Comments are due Sept. 6. A final version of the rule will be published around Nov. 1, with changes taking effect on Jan. 1, 2017.