CMS proposes changes for hospital outpatient departments in 2010

Under a proposed rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in the Hospital Outpatient Department Quality Reporting Program (HOP QDRP) program hospitals that did not participate in the program or did not successfully report the quality measures will receive an update in CY 2010 equal to the annual payment update factor minus 2.0 percentage points, or 0.1 percent. CMS is proposing to continue to require HOP QDRP participating hospitals to report the existing seven emergency department and perioperative care measures, as well as the four existing claims-based imaging efficiency measures for the CY 2011 payment determination. Although it is not proposing to adopt any new measures for the CY 2011 update, CMS is seeking public comment on potential additional quality measures for consideration for future OPPS updates. The potential measures relate to a number of areas including cancer care, emergency department throughput, diabetes, stroke and rehabilitation, osteoporosis, medication reconciliation, respiratory, immunization, health information technology, cataract surgery, overuse/appropriate use, imaging efficiency, and surgical care.

CMS is also proposing to phase in a new HOP QDRP validation requirement to ensure that hospitals are accurately reporting measures for chart-abstracted data, but the validation results will not have any impact on outpatient department payments in CY 2011. In addition, CMS is proposing to establish procedures to make quality data collected under the HOP QDRP for quarters beginning with the third quarter of CY 2008 publicly available.

CMS is projecting a market basket update for CY 2010 of 2.1 percent for outpatient departments, and estimates total payments of $31.5 billion under the OPPS in CY 2010. CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until August 31, 2009, and will respond to comments in a final rule to be issued by November 1, 2009 .

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(SOURCE: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, July 2, 2009)