The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would update Medicare payment and other policies for the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) for calendar year (CY) 2013. The proposed rule also would update Medicare inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) quality reporting program policies and various other Medicare policies. The official version of the rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2012. CMS will accept comments on the rule until September 4, 2012. Key provisions of the proposed rule include the following:

  • The rule would increase 2013 OPPS rates by 2.1% compared to 2012 levels (although the impact on particular procedures would vary). This update reflects a hospital market basket increase of 3.0%, which is reduced under two Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions – a 0.1 percentage point reduction and an estimated 0.8% “multi-factor productivity” (MFP) adjustment/reduction. The OPPS update is subject to other adjustments, including a 2 percentage point reductions for hospitals that do not meet quality reporting requirements. For 2013, CMS proposes to determine OPPS relative weights using the geometric mean costs of services within an Ambulatory Payment Classification, rather than median costs, which CMS expects would have a limited payment impact on most providers.
  • CMS proposes setting OPPS payment for separately payable drugs and biologicals without pass-through status at average sales price (ASP) plus 6% (which it refers to as the “statutory default” rate), compared to the current ASP plus 4%. Notably, CMS is not proposing to make an adjustment for pharmacy overhead costs in 2013 to reflect the redistribution of package costs, as it had for 2010 through 2012. The proposed 2013 threshold for separate payment for outpatient drugs would be a cost per day that exceeds $80, compared to $75 in 2012. CMS also proposes a special payment adjustment policy for radioisotopes derived from non-highly enriched uranium sources.
  • With regard to ASC policy, CMS is proposing to increase ASC payment rates by 1.3%, which is derived from a 2.2% inflation update reduced by an MFP adjustment of -0.9%. ASC payment rates for CY 2013 will represent 57% of rates for the same services under the OPPS. CMS is soliciting comments on development of an ASC-specific inflation index in place of the current Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. CMS also proposes changes to the regulations regarding payment for new technology intraocular lens (NTIOLs) in the ASC setting to require more stringent labeling and clinical outcomes evidence to support NTIOL applications.
  • CMS proposes changes to the IRF Quality Reporting Program, including updates to the quality measures that will impact annual prospective payment amounts in FY 2014 and procedural changes to the process for updating quality measures.
  • In addition, the proposed rule addresses: refinements to the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program and the ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program; payment for partial hospitalization services; potential changes to the Part A to Part B Rebilling Demonstration; revisions to the electronic reporting pilot for the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; clarification of the application of the supervision regulations to physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy services furnished in OPPS hospitals and critical access hospitals; and changes to regulations governing Quality Improvement Organizations, including the secure transmittal of electronic medical information, beneficiary complaint resolution and notification processes.