Though no final announcements on participants have been made, several areas of Massachusetts were declared “eligible” by CMS for random selection of nearly 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) across the country for a new innovation initiative that offers bundled payment for cardiac care.
CMS released the proposed rule on July 25th where the hospital in which a patient is admitted for care for a heart attack, bypass surgery, or surgical hip/femur fracture treatment would be accountable for the cost and quality of care provided to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries during the inpatient stay and for 90 days after discharge.
As with many similar alternative payment programs, established quality metrics would help determine whether the hospital would be required to pay Medicare for poor performance or receive reward payments for higher-quality care. CMS chose July 2017 to March 2018 as the “performance year” and then a gradual increase in the gains and downside risk for hospitals beginning at 5 percent in 2018 and capped at 20 percent in 2020-2021.
CMS is encouraging collaboration with other providers, including home health care and other post-acute providers. Equally important are a list of waivers this program will grant relative to the provision of post-acute care. Some notable highlights are listed below, with explanatory excerpts from the proposed rule, but the full list of waivers can be found in the proposed rule under “Subpart G” on page 885.
- Waiver of direct supervision requirement for certain post-discharge home visits:
- “CMS waives the requirement in § 410.26(b)(5) of this chapter that services and supplies furnished incident to a physician’s service must be furnished under the direct supervision of the physician (or other practitioner) to permit home visits as specified in this section. The services furnished under this waiver are not considered to be “hospital services,” even when furnished by the clinical staff of the hospital.”
- Waiver of certain telehealth requirements:
- “Except for the geographic site requirements for a face – to – face encounter for home health certification, CMS waives the geographic site requirements of sec tion 1834(m)(4)(C)(i)(I) through (III) of the Act for episodes being tested in an EPM, but only for services that (1) May be furnished via telehealth under existing requirements; and (2) Are included in the episode in accordance with § 512.210”
- The Alliance is researching whether this is restricted to physicians performing telehealth or whether home health agencies would be allowed to engage in remote patient monitoring.
- Waiver of the SNF 3-day rule
- Only applies to the AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction) model.
There is a 60-day public comment period and it is unlikely that the participating MSAs will be revealed before the final rule, but the “eligible” areas in Massachusetts are included below:
- Barnstable Town, MA
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
Based on CMS’ selection criteria, the Pittsfield and Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Areas are “excluded” from selection eligibility.
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