CMS Reconsidering “Two-Midnight” Rule

CMS officials are asking for new ideas on how to design a new payment system for treating Medicare patients who need to stay in the hospital for only a day or so. Although CMS implemented a new rule last year to clarify that patients needed two nights in the hospital to qualify for inpatient-hospital rates, known as the “two-midnight” rule, the rule quickly became deemed as overly bureaucratic.

CMS is now considering scraping the rule and is soliciting public comments about alternative payment systems that could define short hospital stays more precisely. New ideas include setting new per-day rates and capping inpatient costs for certain services.

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