The AHA today urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to immediately withdraw the new condition of participation that threatens to expel hospitals from the Medicare program if they fail to comply with “frequently changing and confusing” COVID-19 data collection efforts.
“CMS’ decision to threaten hospital Medicare participation is a direct rebuke of the clear willingness displayed by America’s hospitals and health systems to provide all relevant data to the federal government,” AHA said today in comments on the agency’s Aug. 25 interim final rule. “It threatens not only to negatively impact the collaborative work in which our members have engaged, but also needlessly jeopardizes the financial viability of hospitals across the country on which millions of Americans rely. The previous success of COVID-19 data reporting was built on partnerships not mandates; the agency should continue along this path and reject pursing this unnecessary approach to COVID-19 data reporting. In moving forward with this interim final rule, the agency is abandoning collaboration and teamwork for a heavy-handed regulatory approach.”
In addition, the AHA said it opposes CMS’ policy of making the reporting of COVID-19 testing data a CoP for laboratories and urged the agency “to rescind this CoP, or at a minimum, to rescind the rule’s provisions imposing civil monetary penalties on labs for non-compliance.”
The AHA also commented on provisions in interim final rule related to changes to quality measurement requirements; nursing home provisions and limits on COVID-19 testing.