Partner Larry Vernaglia was quoted in a Report on Medicare Compliance article, “CMS to Take Back Money It Returned Under Site-Neutral Payment Policy,” about the agency’s plan to collect the money it returned to hospitals for outpatient clinic visits at excepted off-campus provider-based departments in 2019 when it lost a federal court decision on a site-neutral payment policy regulation that has now been overturned on appeal.
Vernaglia called it a “shame” that CMS is taking this action now, when hospitals are struggling with the increased costs of responding to community need around the COVID pandemic. “While CMS has done many great things to assist the hospital community in the past 10 months, this will string,” he said. “Many hospitals will not have reserved for this recoupment. Indeed, this is an area where hospitals would have reasonably relied on CMS not taking this action – from the perspective of fairness and equity. No other industry could be expected to be whipsawed by their largest business partner in this fashion.”