Two-Midnight Rule Will Short-Change Hospitals, Providers Say

Healthcare providers say Medicare is going to short-change them on patients who spend fewer than two nights in the hospital, and delaying implementation of a new payment policy until October won't change that.

Healthcare providers say Medicare is going to short-change them on patients who spend fewer than two nights in the hospital, and delaying implementation of a new payment policy until October won't change that.

What the delay will do is give hospitals, doctors and special-interest groups more time to study the new “two midnight” rule and find ways to block it—whether through negotiation, legislation or litigation.

“I think ultimately the hospitals will prevail on this, one way or another,” said Emily Evans, a partner with Nashville-based healthcare consultancy Obsidian Research Group. Hospitals say “short-stay inpatient care is common in the practice of medicine, and you shouldn't treat it like fraud, waste or abuse.”

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Source: Modern Healthcare