By Blair Childs, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Premier
Members of the Premier alliance are extremely disappointed by CMS’ policies for implementing the site-neutral payment provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. CMS is basically creating an entirely new payment system for outpatient, off-campus provider based departments (PBDs) starting on Jan. 1, even though this is still an interim final rule open for comment. This is an unacceptable level of complexity and uncertainty. Premier and other organizations representing hospitals had urged an implementation delay and continue to believe that was the appropriate policy.
Outpatient, off-campus PBDs are integral to the ongoing movement toward population health and improving access to care in less intensive settings. The proposal was a short-sighted move on the part of Congress, focusing more on the siloes and settings of care rather than on the total cost. CMS’ implementation has just exacerbated an already bad situation. While we appreciate the fact that CMS has decided to allow existing PBDs to expand within the same family of services for now, we continue to believe that reforms are needed to this policy and that moving ahead on January 1 is misguided.
— Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs, Premier