It's about to get easier to see how much hospitals are charging for their services.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said it would test a direct provider contracting (DPC) model within Medicare fee-for-service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid programs, which could offer opportunities for long term and post-acute care providers (LT/PAC), according to industry sources.
The proposal also asks hospitals to provide electronic health records in a form that patients can take to their doctors or another health care facility. "Today, we are calling on private health plans to join us in sharing their data with patients because enabling patients to control their Medicare data so that they can quickly obtain and share it is critical to creating more patient empowerment".
CMS is proposing for the inpatient prospective payment system and the long-term care hospital prospective payment system to remove unnecessary, redundant, and process-driven measures from a number of quality reporting and pay-for-performance programs.
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The proposed rule would require hospitals to post their standard list of prices on the internet and in a machine-readable format, rather than just being required to make them available in some form.
Hospitals in the LTCH would expected payment rate increases of 1.15 percent for FY 2019.
"We seek to ensure the healthcare system puts patients first", CMS administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.
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The Meaningful Use program is getting a makeover, courtesy of the Trump administration, with reduced reporting measures and a brand new name.
"We are removing a total of 19 measures and are de-duplicating another 21 measures while keeping the focus where it should be-on reducing harm and creating better health outcomes for patients", said Verma.
On the interoperability front, hospitals by 2019 will also need to meet standards of making access to their EHR data available for patients on the day of discharge.
The rule also removes measures related to resource use, healthcare related infections, and patient safety because those measures are also duplicative in the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program. "Giving patients choices as to what technologies they use to manage their health information is quite important, as one-size app or transport via FHIR and APIs doesn't necessarily fit all needs".
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AHA also supports CMS's more streamlined approach to quality measurement by eliminating a significant number of criteria acute care hospitals are now required to report and it removes duplicative measures across the five hospital quality and value-based purchasing programs.