MSP rule change announced by CMS

In the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) regulations, the frequency with which hospitals must collect MSP information for recurring outpatient services and for hospital reference labs has been reduced, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced, which was reported by the on-line news service AHA News Today. The March 20 decision was made "due to AHA [American Hospital Association] concerns," according to the CMS.

In a letter sent to CMS in March, the Chicago-based AHA expressed concern that the federal agency’s previous decision to collect the information every 30 days for recurring outpatient services and every 60 days for reference labs "does not adequately address [Department of Health and Human Services] Secretary [Tommy] Thompson’s commitment to paperwork reduction."

AHA officials have stated that the organization will continue to work with CMS to eliminate the requirement altogether for reference labs.

(For a report on reaction to the agency’s Sept. 25, 2001, program memorandum on MSP data collection, see Hospital Access Management, December 2001, p. 133.)