House approves hospital bill

June 9, 2016

The House of Representatives this week approved by voice vote legislation that would extend the time hospitals have to qualify to be grandfathered into the existing payment system for services provided in off-campus, provider-based clinics.

Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, who serves as the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, was the bill’s Democratic sponsor.

The bill revises the so-called “site neutral” provisions of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act, which mandates that hospitals are only reimbursed at the lower Medicare physician schedule for services delivered in off-campus, provider-based clinics after Jan. 1, 2017. Hospitals already delivering these services as of Nov. 2, 2015 are not affected by the policy change.

The bill moves the grandfather date from Nov. 2, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2016 or 60 days after enactment, whichever is later. The bill also would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to consider socio-economic factors in the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program.

The measure now moves to the Senate where the Finance Committee — on which Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell serves — will consider it. (John Flink)


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