The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving ahead on its annual Medicare hospital payment update rule – and it actually is ahead of last year’s pace.  Specifically, on March 8, 2017 CMS sent to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance its proposed rule updating the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital prospective payment system (LTCH PPS) for fiscal year 2018.  Presumably the Trump Administration’s regulatory freeze no longer applies to CMS since Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price is in place to review the regulations on behalf of the Administration.   

The proposed rule reached OMB almost two weeks earlier than during last year’s rulemaking cycle.  OMB staff should have plenty of time to review the CMS regulation, since it is the only rulemaking government-wide that currently is pending at OMB.  The text of the proposed rule is not available until it is sent to the Federal Register (which last year was on April 18).