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CMS implements extension of two programs for small, rural hospitals

March 14, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued an interim final rule implementing a six-month extension of the low-volume payment adjustment and Medicare-Dependent Hospital program under the inpatient prospective payment system rule for fiscal year 2014, as required by the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013. To qualify for the low-volume adjustment for discharges occurring before April 1, a hospital must have fewer than 1,600 Medicare discharges annually and be located 15 miles or more from the nearest IPPS hospital. To receive the adjustment, hospitals must notify their Medicare Administrative Contractor before March 31 and provide documentation that they meet the 15-mile mileage criterion. Hospitals participating in the MDH program when it expired will be reinstated as an MDH effective Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014 if they have not been reclassified as a sole community hospital or requested a cancellation of their rural classification. CMS will accept comments on the rule for 60 days. AHA members will receive a Special Bulletin Monday with more information.