September 13, 2022
The Honorable Chiquita Brooks-LaSure
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 8016
Baltimore, MD 21244-8016
RE: CMS-1772-P, Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Acquisition; Rural Emergency Hospitals: Payment Policies, Conditions of Participation, Provider Enrollment, Physician Self-Referral; New Service Category for Hospital Outpatient Department Prior Authorization Process; Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating; Proposed Rule, July 26, 2022
Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure:
On behalf of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), which represents approximately 235 member hospitals, we appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) hospital outpatient prospective payment system proposed rule for calendar year (CY) 2023.
HAP appreciates CMS’ decision to end its unlawful policy to significantly cut payments to 340B hospitals for 2023 following the Supreme Court’s recent unanimous ruling in favor of hospitals. The end of this harmful policy will help ensure that 340B hospitals can provide comprehensive health care services to the patients and communities they serve. Given that CMS has recognized that its policy was unlawful, HAP urges the administration to promptly reimburse those hospitals affected by these cuts for all years that the policy was in place. At the same time, no hospital should be penalized for the agency’s implementation of an unlawful policy; CMS should not attempt to recoup funds from the rest of the hospital field, especially as hospitals and health systems continue to deal with rising inflation and skyrocketing costs for supplies, equipment, drugs, and labor.
We also reiterate our position against continuing site-neutral payment reductions. CMS should reverse its unlawful and harmful policy reducing payment for outpatient clinic visits in excepted provider-based hospital outpatient departments.
The following comment letter also addresses changes to:
- Inpatient-only list
- Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program
- Prior Authorization Program Changes
- Organ Procurement and Research
In addition, we incorporate, by reference, all of the comments provided in the American Hospital Association’s response to the proposed rule.
Thank you for your consideration of HAP’s comments about this proposed rule regarding outpatient payment and other provisions related to hospitals and the patients they serve in Pennsylvania.
If you have any questions, contact Kate Slatt, vice president, innovative payment and care delivery, at (717) 561-5317.
Senior Vice President, Health Economics and Policy