HHS Rule Makes Data Reporting a Medicare CoP

Aug. 26, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released an interim final rule (IFR) late Tuesday that, among other provisions, makes the requirement for hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to report daily coronavirus data a condition of participation (CoP) in the Medicare program. Accordingly, the penalty for noncompliance by a hospital or CAH may be termination from the Medicare program if corrective action is not taken. The rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register. 

The current list of required hospital data items is available here, although the IFR specifically notes that this list “is not exhaustive of those data items that we may require hospitals and CAHs to submit.” IHA has been working collaboratively with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to increase compliance.

The American Hospital Association called the agency’s move “disturbing” and a “heavy-handed regulatory approach,” and developed talking points for hospitals on the issue, as well as an infographic highlighting the numerous and burdensome changes the Administration has made regarding data collection and reporting.
The IFR also imposes civil monetary penalties for laboratories and nursing homes that fail to report COVID-19 data each week, as well a new requirement on testing for staff and residents at long-term care facilities.

IHA is reviewing the details of the rule and will provide additional information in the coming days.