On July 12, a bipartisan group of members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the “Equal Access and Parity for Multi-Campus Hospitals Act,” which would revise the methodology used to make Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive payments to hospitals with multiple campuses all operating under the same CMS Certification Number (CCN). Currently, all inpatient facilities that operate under the same CCN are treated as a single eligible hospital. While the bill would not treat each inpatient campus as an eligible hospital for purposes of receiving incentive payments under the HITECH Act, the proposal would offer a multi-campus hospital the choice of having either its base payment amount or discharge-related payment amount re-calculated to reflect multiple inpatient facilities.
Under current law, all eligible hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology may receive a Medicare and Medicaid incentive payment equal to a base amount – $2 million – plus a per-discharge add-on payment, multiplied by the hospital’s share of Medicare or Medicaid patients. The bill would give a multi-campus hospital the option to have its $2 million annual base payment amount or its annual discharge related amount (but not both) increased based on the number of its inpatient facilities that themselves qualify for meaningful use. Hospitals must submit an attestation that every facility – the main provider and all remote inpatient locations – qualifies as a meaningful user. A hospital’s choice would apply for all prior and subsequent payment years.
To date, there has been no companion bill introduced in the Senate. Similar bills were introduced in both chambers during the last Congress. The text of the current House bill is available by clicking here.