The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released an updated version of their Frequently Asked Questions document concerning the requirement that hospitals provide standard charges in machine readable format via the internet effective January 1. A few weeks ago, WSHA provided a bulletin based on the prior set of FAQs. The new FAQs have some additions hospitals should be aware of.
The new FAQs affirm that all hospitals, including critical access hospitals, sole community hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals and psychiatric hospitals are subject to the requirement. Long term acute care hospitals are not specifically mentioned but may be included in CMS’ interpretation of “all hospitals”. It also indicates that hospitals need to provide the information for “all items and services provided by the hospital”, including drugs and biologicals, regardless of whether they are part of the chargemaster. Additionally, the new guidance includes a new expectation about providing a “standard charge” by Diagnosis Related Group. Hospitals should determine the best way to provide this information in consultation with their legal counsel. The American Hospital Association is seeking clarification from CMS. WSHA will provide further guidance as more is known. (Andrew Busz, firstname.lastname@example.org).