On July 29, CMS proposed policies that follow directives in an Executive Order, entitled “Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Health Care to Put Patients First,” that lay the foundation for a patient-driven health care system by making prices for items and services provided by all hospitals in the United States more transparent for patients so that they can be more informed about what they might pay for hospital items and services.

The proposed changes also encourage site-neutral payment between certain Medicare sites of services. Finally, the proposed rule proposes updates and policy changes under the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System. The proposed polices in the CY 2020 OPPS/ASC Payment System proposed rule would further advance the agency’s commitment to increasing price transparency, (including proposals for requirements that would apply to each hospital operating in the United States), strengthening Medicare, rethinking rural health, unleashing innovation, reducing provider burden, and strengthening program integrity so that hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers can operate with better flexibility and patients have what they need to become active health care consumers.

In accordance with Medicare law, CMS is proposing to update OPPS payment rates by 2.7 percent. This update is based on the projected hospital market basket increase of 3.2 percent minus a 0.5 percentage point adjustment for Multi-Factor Productivity (MFP).

In the CY 2019 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period, we finalized our proposal to apply the hospital market basket update to ASC payment system rates for an interim period of 5 years (CY 2019 through CY 2023). CMS is not proposing any changes to its policy to use the hospital market basket update for ASC payment rates for CY 2020-2023. Using the hospital market basket, CMS proposes to update ASC rates for CY 2020 by 2.7 percent for ASCs meeting relevant quality reporting requirements. This change is based on the projected hospital market basket increase of 3.2 percent minus a 0.5 percentage point adjustment for MFP. This change will also help to promote site neutrality between hospitals and ASCs and encourage the migration of services from the hospital setting to the lower cost ASC setting.

The proposed rule also includes:

  • Proposed definition of ‘hospital,’ ‘standard charges,’ and ‘items and services’
  • Proposed requirements for making public all standard charges for all items and services
  • Proposed requirements for making public consumer-friendly standard charges for a limited set of ‘shoppable services’
  • Proposals for monitoring and enforcement
  • Method to control for unnecessary increases in utilization of outpatient services
  • Changes to the Inpatient Only list
  • ASC covered procedures list
  • High-cost/low-cost threshold for packaged skin substitutes
  • Device pass-through applications
  • Addressing wage index disparities
  • Changes in the level of supervision of outpatient therapeutic services in hospitals and critical access hospitals
  • Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program
  • CY 2020 OPPS payment methodology for 340B purchased drugs
  • Partial Hospitalization Program rate setting and update to per diem rates
  • Revision to the organ procurement organization conditions for certification
  • Potential changes to the organ procurement organization and transplant center regulations: Request for Information

For More Information:

See the full text of this excerpted CMS Fact Sheet (issued July 29).