House panel urged to provide relief on RACs, two-midnight policy

AHA News Now

Hospitals need relief from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ two-midnight policy and Recovery Audit Contractor program – both of which are draining “time, resources and attention that need to be more effectively focused on patient-care,” Amy Deutschendorf, senior director of utilization and clinical resource management at the Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, today told the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Testifying at a hearing on current hospital issues in the Medicare program, Deutschendorf said the two-midnight policy has created “confusion and stress” for providers and patients, and has “taken away physicians’ judgment in the determination of hospitalization as an inpatient.” She also discussed the financial and administrative burden of complying with RAC audits as well as the significant number of erroneous RAC denials hospitals are experiencing. AHA supports the Medicare Audit Improvement Act (H.R. 1250/S. 1012), a comprehensive bill for reforming the RAC program, and the Two-Midnight Rule Coordination and Improvement Act (H.R. 3698/S. 2082), which directs CMS to further delay enforcement of the two-midnight rule and implement a new payment methodology for short inpatient stays.

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