On April 27, 2021, CMS issued a proposed rule (CMS-1752-P) for inpatient and long-term care hospitals that builds on the Biden Administration’s key priorities to close health care equity gaps and provide greater accessibility to care. Major provisions in the proposed rule would fund medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities to address workforce shortages and require hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccination rates among their workers to contain the spread of the virus.
In accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, CMS is proposing to distribute 1,000 additional physician residency slots to qualifying hospitals, phasing in 200 slots per year over 5 years. CMS estimates that the additional funding for these additional residency slots, once fully phased in, will total approximately $300 million each year to fund medical residency positions in hospitals to address the workforce shortages.
The rule also proposes to implement section 9831 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to permanently reinstate the imputed floor-wage-index for all-urban states for FY 2022.
Additionally, the rule proposes to update Medicare Fee-for-Service payment rates and policies for acute care inpatient hospitals and long-term care hospitals for fiscal year 2022. CMS estimates total Medicare spending on acute care inpatient hospital services will increase by about $2.5 billion in fiscal year 2022.
In addition, the proposed rule seeks to strengthen the ongoing response to the PHE and future health threats by leveraging meaningful measures for quality programs. CMS is proposing the adoption of the COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) measure to require hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccinations of workers in their facilities. This proposed measure is designed to assess whether hospitals are taking steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 among their workforce, reduce the risk of transmission within their facilities, help sustain the ability of hospitals to continue serving their communities through the PHE, and assess the nation’s long-term recovery and readiness efforts.
Additionally, CMS is proposing to modify the Promoting Interoperability program requirements for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to expand reporting within the Public Health and Clinical Data Exchange Objective. The proposal would require hospitals to report on all four of the following measures: Syndromic Surveillance Reporting, Immunization Registry Reporting, Electronic Case Reporting, and Electronic Reportable Laboratory Result Reporting.
CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until June 28, 2021.
Read the full proposed rule here starting May 10: Proposed rule
Read the summary information here: CMS Newsroom