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CMS Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems Final Rule Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its IPPS Final Rule for fiscal year (FY) 2023.  The final rule reflects a 4.3% rate update for acute care hospitals, which is 1.1 percentage points higher than the update in the proposed rule.  CHA joined other hospital advocates in providing comments on the proposed rule, citing the ongoing economic pressures of the pandemic, as well as significant inflation, as reasons the proposed rule update was inadequate.  Among other CHA-supported provisions, the rule permanently sets a 5% cap on any decrease in a hospital’s area wage index, retains the all-urban definition and imputed floor calculation, and adopts new inpatient quality reporting measures, including one focused on health equity, two on screening for social drivers of health, and two on maternal health.  The rule also establishes a “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation to signal to consumers a hospital’s demonstrated commitment to maternal health, from prenatal to postpartum care.

 

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Public Asked for Feedback to Improve Medicare Advantage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment on ways to achieve the agency’s expressed vision for “…a future where people with Medicare receive more equitable, high-quality, and person-centered care that is affordable and sustainable.”  In the Medicare Advantage program — also known as Medicare Part C — CMS contracts with private insurers to offer all traditional Medicare services, who in turn may offer additional benefits, like vision and dental coverage.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), has, in multiple investigations, found that actions taken by Medicare Advantage organizations to deny prior authorization requests resulted in inappropriately delayed or denied care to Medicare beneficiaries.  CHA has also commented on the unfair use of prior authorization practices among payers, including Medicare Advantage plans, to deny and delay payment, often for services that are standard, best-practice treatments covered by Medicare.  Public comment submissions are due by August 31. 

 

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Governor’s Office Announces Plans to Increase Opportunities for Connecticut’s Healthcare Workforce

Two separate new workforce development programs announced last week are intended to support substantial growth of the healthcare workforce in Connecticut.   Governor Ned Lamont has announced a $35 million initiative — funded with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars — to provide tuition incentives for accelerated nursing and social work programs, recruit and retain expanded faculty for healthcare education programs, and partner with employers and institutions of higher learning to offer jobs and build career pathways.  The initiative is a partnership between Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS), multiple state agencies, the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, and the Connecticut Hospital Association.  

 

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