CMS Releases the CY 2020 OPPS Proposed Rule
Proposed Changes: Inpatient Only List, the 2-Midnight Rule, and ASC Covered Surgical Procedures
The Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Proposed Rule was finally released on July 29th. This week MMP highlights proposed changes to the Inpatient Only (IPO) List, a related 2-Midnight Rule Proposal and the ASC Covered Procedures List (CPL).
Inpatient Only List
CMS utilizes the following specific criteria when determining whether or not a procedure should be removed from the IPO List and assigned to an Ambulatory Payment Category (APC) group for payment under the OPPS when provided in the hospital outpatient setting:
- Most outpatient departments are equipped to provide the services to the Medicare population.
- The simplest procedure described by the code may be performed in most outpatient departments.
- The procedure is related to codes that we have already removed from the IPO list.
- A determination is made that the procedure is being performed in numerous hospitals on an outpatient basis.
- A determination is made that the procedure can be appropriately and safely performed in an ASC, and is on the list of approved ASC procedures or has been proposed by CMS for addition to the ASC list.
CMS does not require that all five criteria be met to remove a procedure from the IPO List.
CY 2020 Procedure Proposed for Removal
For several years now, CMS has discussed the removal of total hip arthroplasty (THA) as well as partial hip arthroplasty (PHA) from the IPO List. Both procedures were on the original IPO List in CY 2001.
In response to the CY 2018 Proposed Rule, several surgeons and other stakeholders believe that, “given thorough preoperative screening by medical teams with significant experience and expertise involving hip replacement procedures, the THA procedure could be provided on an outpatient basis for some Medicare beneficiaries.”
CMS stated in the CY 2018 OPPS/APC Proposed Rule that “Both PHA and THA need to be tailored to the individual patient’s needs. Patients with a relatively low anesthesia risk and without significant comorbidities who have family members at home who can assist them may likely be good candidates for an outpatient PHA or THA procedure…on the other hand, patients with multiple medical comorbidities, aside from their osteoarthritis, would more likely require inpatient hospitalization and possible postacute care in a skilled nursing facility or other facility.”
CMS believes that CPT code 27130 (Arthroplasty, acetabular and proximal femoral prosthetic replacement (total hip arthroplasty) with or without autograft or allograft) meets criterion 2 and 3 for removal from the IPO List and “believe that appropriately selected patients could have this procedure performed on an outpatient basis.” Therefore, CMS is proposing the following:
- Remove THA from the IPO List, and
- Assign the THA procedure (CPT code 27130) to C-APC with status indicator “J.”
Solicitation of Comments for Potential Removal of Procedures from IPO List
CMS has received several comments on additional codes believed to meet the criterion for removal from the IPO List. CMS is seeking comments on the removal of the following procedures from the IPO List.
- CPT 22633: Arthrodesis, combined posterior or posterolateral technique with posterior interbody technique including laminectomy and/or discectomy sufficient to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), single interspace and segment; lumbar
- CPT 22634: Arthrodesis, combined posterior or posterolateral technique with posterior interbody technique including laminectomy and/or discectomy sufficient to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), singe interspace and segment; lumbar; each additional interspace and segment
- CPT 23265: Laminectomy for excision or evacuation of intraspinal lesion other than neoplasm, extradural; cervical
- CPT 63266: Laminectomy for excision or evacuation of intraspinal lesion other than neoplasm, extradural; thoracic
- CPT 63267: Laminectomy for excision or evacuation of intraspinal lesion other than neoplasm, extradural; lumber
- CPT 63268: Laminectomy for excision or evacuation of intraspinal lesion other than neoplasm, extradural; sacral.
Short Inpatient Hospital Stays
It’s hard to believe come this October, it will have been six years since CMS finalized the Two-Midnight Rule clarifying when an inpatient admission is considered reasonable and necessary for purposes of Medicare Part A payment in the FY 2014 IPPS/LTCH PPS Final Rule.
This policy established a benchmark for when a patient is considered appropriate for inpatient hospital admission and payment. CMS also clarified that “when a beneficiary enters a hospital for a surgical procedure not designated as an inpatient-only (IPO) procedure as described in 42 CFR 419.22(n), a diagnostic test, or any other treatment, and the physician expects to keep the beneficiary in the hospital for only a limited period of time that does not cross 2 midnights, the services would be generally inappropriate under Medicare Part A.”
In the CY 2016 OPPS/ASC Final Rule, CMS revised the previous rare and unusual exceptions policy “and finalized a proposal to allow for case-by case exceptions to the 2-midnight benchmark, whereby Medicare Part A payment may be made for inpatient admissions where the admitting physician does not expect the patient to require hospital care spanning 2 midnights, if the documentation in the medical record supports the physician’s determination that the patient nonetheless requires inpatient hospital care.” The following criteria are relevant to making this determination:
- Complex medical factors such as history and comorbidities;
- The severity of signs and symptoms;
- Current medical needs; and
- The risk of an adverse event.
Proposed Change for Medical Review of Certain Inpatient Hospital Admissions under Medicare Part A for CY 2020 and Subsequent Years
The 2-Midnight benchmark is applicable once procedures have been removed from the IPO list. These surgical claims are also subject to initial medical reviews of claims for short-stay inpatient admissions conducted by the Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO).
BFCC-QIO’s may “refer a provider to the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) for further medical review due to exhibiting persistent noncompliance with Medicare payment policies, including, but not limited to:
- Having high denial rates;
- Consistently failing to adhere to the 2-midnight rule; or
- Failing to improve their performance after QIO educational intervention.”
For CY 2020 and subsequent years, CMS is “proposing to establish a 1-year exemption from site-of-service claim denials, BFCC-QIO referrals to RACs, and RAC reviews for “patient status” (that is, site-of-service) for procedures that are removed from the IPO list under the OPPS beginning on January 1, 2020. We encourage BFCC-QIOs to review these cases for medical necessity in order to educate themselves and the provider community on appropriate documentation for Part A payment when the admitting physician determines that it is medically reasonable and necessary to conduct these procedures on an inpatient basis. We note that we will monitor changes in site- of-service to determine whether changes may be necessary to certain CMS Innovation Center models.”
As a provider, it is important to be mindful that the exemption is specific to site-of-service claim denials. This exemption does not include medical necessity based on a National or Local Coverage Determination meaning irrespective of site-of-service, a short stay claim can still be denied for lack of documentation supporting medical necessity of the procedure.
Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) – Proposals
In the CY 2019 OPPS Final Rule, CMS finalized the “proposal to define a surgical procedure under the ASC payment system as any procedure described within the range of Category I CPT codes that the CPT Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association (AMA) defines as “surgery” (CPT codes 10000 through 69999) (72 FR 42478), as well as procedures that are described by Level II HCPCS codes or by Category I CPT codes or by Category III CPT codes that directly crosswalk or are clinically similar to procedures in the CPT surgical range that we have determined are not expected to pose a significant risk to beneficiary safety when performed in an ASC, for which standard medical practice dictates that the beneficiary would not typically be expected to require an overnight stay following the procedure, and are separately paid under the OPPS.”
CMS conducted a review of HCPCS codes currently paid under the OPPS but are not included on the ASC CPL. Based on this review, the following table highlights the proposed procedures to be added to the ASC CPL.
|Proposed Additions to the List of ASC Covered Surgical Procedures for CY 2020|
|CY 2020 CPT Code||CY 2020 Long Descriptor||Proposed CY 2020 ASC Payment Indicator|
|27447||Arthroplasty, knee, condyle and plateau; medial and lateral compartments with or without patella resurfacing (total knee arthroplasty)||J8|
|29867||Arthroscopy, knee surgical; osteochondral allograft (eg, mosaicplasty)||J8|
|92920||Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; single major coronary artery or branch||G2|
|92921||Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; each additional branch of a major coronary artery (list separately in addition to code for primary procedure)||N1|
|92928||Percutaneous transcatheter placement of intracoronary stent(s), with coronary angioplasty when performed; single major coronary artery or branch||J8|
|92929||Percutaneous transcatheter placement of intracoronary stent(s), with coronary angioplasty when performed; each additional branch of a major coronary artery (list separately in addition to code for primary procedure)||N1|
|C9600||Percutaneous transcatheter placement of drug eluting intracoronary stent(s), with coronary angioplasty when performed; single major coronary artery or branch||J8|
|C9601||Percutaneous transcatheter placement of drug-eluting intracoronary stent(s), with coronary angioplasty when performed; each additional branch of a major coronary artery (list separately in addition to code for primary procedure)||N1|
|Source: CY 2020 OPPS/ASC Proposed Rule table 32|
Specific to the proposal to add Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) to the ASC CPL, CMS notes in the Proposed Rule that “we agree with commenters that there is a small subset of Medicare beneficiaries who may be suitable candidates to receive TKA procedures in an ASC setting base on their clinical characteristics. For example, based on Medicare Advantage encounter data, we estimate over 800 TKA procedure were performed in an ASC on Medicare Advantage enrollees in 2016. We believe that beneficiaries not enrolled in an MA plan should also have the option of choosing to receive the TKA procedure in an ASC setting based on their physicians’ determinations.”
Further, CMS notes “TKA procedures are still predominantly performed in the inpatient hospital setting in CY 2018 (82 percent of the time) based on professional claims data, and we are cognizant of the fact that the majority of beneficiaries may not be suitable candidates to receive TKA in an ASC setting. We believe that appropriate limits are necessary to ensure that Medicare Part B payment will only be made for TKA procedures performed in an ASC setting when the setting is clinically appropriate. Therefore, we are soliciting public comment on the appropriate approach to provide safeguards for Medicare beneficiaries who should not receive the TKA procedure in an ASC setting.”
CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule no later than 5 p.m. EST on September 27, 2019.
You can read more about the Proposed Rule in a CMS Fact Sheet at: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/cy-2020-medicare-hospital-outpatient-prospective-payment-system-and-ambulatory-surgical-center
The Proposed Rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2019. In the meantime you can access a pre-published copy on the CMS website at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HospitalOutpatientPPS/Hospital-Outpatient-Regulations-and-Notices-Items/CMS-1717-P.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=2&DLSortDir=descending
Finally, you can keep reading the Wednesday@One as we will have more information on the proposed rule next week.
Article by Beth Cobb
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system.
This material was compiled to share information. MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.