HomeLatest NewsFederal NewsCMS Proposes Policies to Improve Patient Safety and Promote Health Equity

CMS Proposes Policies to Improve Patient Safety and Promote Health Equity

​In a recent press release the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for inpatient and long-term care hospitals that builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s key priorities to advance health equity and support underserved communities. As required by statute, the fiscal year (FY) 2024 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital prospective payment system (LTCH PPS) rule updates Medicare payments and policies for hospitals. The rule would also adopt hospital quality measures to foster safety, equity, and reduce preventable harm in the hospital setting. CMS is proposing to recognize homelessness as an indicator of increased resource utilization in the acute inpatient hospital setting, which may result in higher payment for certain hospital stays. This action aligns with the Administration’s goal of providing support to historically underserved and under-resourced communities.

“CMS is helping to build a resilient health care system that promotes good outcomes, patient safety, equity, and accessibility for everyone,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “This proposed rule reflects our person-centric approach to better measure health care quality and safety in hospitals to reduce preventable harm and our commitment to ensure that people with Medicare in rural and underserved areas have improved access to high-quality health care.”

For acute care hospitals paid under the IPPS that successfully participate in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting program and are meaningful electronic health record users, the proposed increase in operating payment rates for FY 2024 is projected to be 2.8%. This reflects an FY 2024 projected hospital market basket update of 3.0%, reduced by a projected 0.2 percentage point productivity adjustment. For FY 2024, CMS expects the proposed increase in operating and capital IPPS payment rates would generally increase hospital payments by $3.3 billion. For LTCHs, CMS proposes to increase the LTCH PPS standard Federal payment rate by 2.9%. Overall, CMS expects LTCH payments under the dual-rate payment system to decrease by 0.9%, or $24 million, primarily due to a projected decrease in high-cost outlier payments in FY 2024 compared to FY 2023.

“With this proposed rule, CMS is more accurately paying hospitals and recognizing for the first time that homelessness, as a social determinant of health, also impacts resource utilization,” said CMS Deputy Administrator Dr. Meena Seshamani. “Creating incentives for hospitals to provide excellent care for underserved populations lays the foundation for a health system that delivers higher-quality, more equitable, and safer care for everyone.”

Click here to read the full press release.

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