CAHs can participate in OP quality reporting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted a request from the American Hospital Association (AHA) to allow critical access hospitals to submit and publicly report outpatient quality data along with other hospitals.

Hospitals participating in Medicare's outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) are required to submit data on seven outpatient quality measures to receive a full payment update in fiscal year 2008.

The program contractor announced in December 2007 that critical access hospitals, which do not participate in the OPPS because they receive cost-based reimbursement, would not be allowed to submit the outpatient measures.

AHA had urged CMS to let the critical access hospitals participate in the quality reporting, citing their commitment to public transparency and quality improvement.