CMS Unveils Greater Medicare Payment Flexibility
Friday, May 1st, 2020

As a way to improve the healthcare system’s COVID-19 response, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has revealed more Medicare payment flexibilities to deliver telehealth, value-based care, and care beyond the traditional hospital during the pandemic.

Hospitals will earn secure, consistent Medicare payments by upping the number of beds for COVID-19 patients. This latest rule guarantees that facilities such as teaching hospitals, outpatient recovery centers, and community health service healthcare programs will not have to deal with decreased Medicare subsidies to raise the number of beds or patient admissions to minimize the pressure on the acute care system.

In turn, more companies will have the ability to supply and charge telehealth facilities, according to the rule. To broaden telehealth during the pandemic, CMS is forgoing limits on the kinds of providers that will deliver telehealth and is permitting hospitals to charge for remote care provided to hospital outpatients.

Long-awaited improvements to the Medicare Joint Savings Plan (MSSP) were among the flexibilities also announced. Furthermore, CMS revealed that the financial framework will be changed in assessing spending for accountable care organizations (ACOs). ACOs who accept increased financial risk under system rules in their next agreement cycle will also have the option of keeping the current financial risk standard for another year.

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