Medicare and Medicaid programs: hospital outpatient prospective payment; ambulatory surgical center payment; hospital value-based purchasing program; physician self-referral; and patient notification requirements in provider agreements. Final rule with comment period.

Article · November 2011
Abstract
This final rule with comment period revises the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) for CY 2012 to implement applicable statutory requirements and changes arising from our continuing experience with this system. In this final rule with comment period, we describe the changes to the amounts and factors used to determine the payment rates for Medicare hospital outpatient services paid under the OPPS. In addition, this final rule with comment period updates the revised Medicare ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system to implement applicable statutory requirements and changes arising from our continuing experience with this system. In this final rule with comment period, we set forth the relative payment weights and payment amounts for services furnished in ASCs, specific HCPCS codes to which these changes apply, and other ratesetting information for the CY 2012 ASC payment system. We are revising the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program, adding new requirements for ASC Quality Reporting System, and making additional changes to provisions of the Hospital Inpatient Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. We also are allowing eligible hospitals and CAHs participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program to meet the clinical quality measure reporting requirement of the EHR Incentive Program for payment year 2012 by participating in the 2012 Medicare EHR Incentive Program Electronic Reporting Pilot. Finally, we are making changes to the rules governing the whole hospital and rural provider exceptions to the physician self-referral prohibition for expansion of facility capacity and changes to provider agreement regulations on patient notification requirements.
    • "To improve the generalizability of our findings, we used multiple methods to estimate attributable medical costs, including an evaluation of total and partial direct hospital costs, as well as an analysis using Medicare estimates. Medicare costs are not directly applicable to a post-partum population; however, Medicare reimbursement has been used in many analyses of healthcare costs [17,18]. Although practices may have changed during the study period, all cases were matched to contemporary controls, which should control for changes in hospital practice. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the health and economic burdens of post-partum Staphylococcus aureus breast abscess. We conducted a matched cohort study (N = 216) in a population of pregnant women (N = 32,770) who delivered at our center during the study period from 10/1/03-9/30/10. Data were extracted from hospital databases, or via chart review if unavailable electronically. We compared cases of S. aureus breast abscess to controls matched by delivery date to compare health services utilization and mean attributable medical costs in 2012 United States dollars using Medicare and hospital-based estimates. We also evaluated whether resource utilization and health care costs differed between cases with methicillin-resistant and -susceptible S. aureus isolates. Fifty-four cases of culture-confirmed post-partum S. aureus breast abscess were identified. Breastfeeding cessation (41%), milk fistula (11.1%) and hospital readmission (50%) occurred frequently among case patients. Breast abscess case patients had high rates of health services utilization compared to controls, including high rates of imaging and drainage procedures. The mean attributable cost of post-partum S. aureus breast abscess ranged from $2,340-$4,012, depending on the methods and data sources used. Mean attributable costs were not significantly higher among methicillin-resistant vs. -susceptible S. aureus cases. Post-partum S. aureus breast abscess is associated with worse health and economic outcomes for women and their infants, including high rates of breastfeeding cessation. Future study is needed to determine the optimal treatment and prevention of these infections.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Computed tomography (CT) use has increased rapidly, raising concerns about radiation exposure and cost. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed an imaging efficiency measure (Outpatient Measure 15 [OP-15]) to evaluate the use of brain CT in the emergency department (ED) for atraumatic headache. We aim to determine the reliability, validity, and accuracy of OP-15. This was a retrospective record review at 21 US EDs. We identified 769 patient visits that CMS labeled as including an inappropriate brain CT to identify clinical indications for CT and reviewed the 748 visits with available records. The primary outcome was the reliability of OP-15 as determined by CMS from administrative data compared with medical record review. Secondary outcomes were the measure's validity and accuracy. Outcome measures were defined according to the testing protocol of the American Medical Association's Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. On record review, 489 of 748 ED brain CTs identified as inappropriate by CMS had a measure exclusion documented that was not identified by administrative data; the measure was 34.6% reliable (95% confidence interval [CI] 31.2% to 38.0%). Among the 259 patient visits without measure exclusions documented in the record, the measure's validity was 47.5% (95% CI 41.4% to 53.6%), according to a consensus list of indications for brain CT. Overall, 623 of the 748 ED visits had either a measure exclusion or a consensus indication for CT; the measure's accuracy was 16.7% (95% CI 14% to 19.4%). Hospital performance as reported by CMS did not correlate with the proportion of CTs with a documented clinical indication (r=-0.11; P=.63). The CMS imaging efficiency measure for brain CTs (OP-15) is not reliable, valid, or accurate and may produce misleading information about hospital ED performance.
    Article · Feb 2012
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Patient, surgeon, health system, and device factors are all known to influence outcomes in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, patient-related factors associated with an increased risk of early failure are not well understood, particularly in elderly patients. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: The purpose of this study was to identify specific comorbid conditions associated with increased risk of early revision in Medicare patients undergoing TKA. METHODS: A total of 117,903 Medicare patients who underwent primary TKA between 1998 and 2010 were identified from the Medicare 5% national sample administrative database and used to determine the relative risk of revision within 12 months after primary TKA as a function of baseline medical comorbidities. Cox regression was used to evaluate the impact of 29 comorbid conditions on risk of early failure controlling for age, sex, race, census region, socioeconomic status, and all other baseline comorbidities. RESULTS: The most significant independent risk factors for revision TKA within 12 months were chronic pulmonary disease, depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, renal disease, hemiplegia or paraplegia, and obesity. CONCLUSIONS: This information could be valuable to patients and their surgeons when making shared medical decisions regarding elective TKA and for risk-stratifying publicly reported outcomes in Medicare patients undergoing TKA. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013
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