May 29, 2020

Around the nation: Appeals court strikes down hospitals' plea for two-midnight rule reimbursements

Daily Briefing

    The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by a group of hospitals that claimed the final rule, which reduced Medicare reimbursement rates for certain inpatient services by 0.2%, violated federal regulations, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Missouri, and Virginia.

    • District of Columbia: A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Wednesday ruled that HHS does not owe hospitals for payments that were reduced under HHS' so-called "two-midnight" final rule. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by a group of hospitals that claimed the final rule, which reduced Medicare reimbursement rates for certain inpatient services by 0.2%, violated federal regulations and called on the court to require HHS to reimburse hospitals for the payment reductions (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 5/27).
    • Missouri: Gov. Mike Parson (R) on Tuesday announced that the state is moving a referendum question asking voters whether the state should expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act from the November general election ballot to the state's August primary ballot. Parson said he wanted voters to weigh in on the referendum sooner so state officials can plan for the potential cost of expanding Medicaid as the state also grapples with the country's new coronavirus epidemic. However, critics claim that Parson purposefully moved the referendum to a lower-turnout election (Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/26).
    • Virginia: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Thursday announced that he and his wife have tested positive for antibodies for the new coronavirus. While there are questions regarding the accuracy of some coronavirus antibody tests' results, the tests generally indicate whether a person had previously been infected with the virus. Kaine said he and his wife had experienced symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, in early April. They spoke with their health care providers and remained isolated at home, but "[d]ue to the national [diagnostic] testing shortage, [they] were not tested for the virus," Kaine said (Carney, The Hill, 5/28).

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