CMS Delays Enforcement Of “Two Midnights” Rule

CMS is delaying enforcement of the “two midnight” payment policy for short hospital stays until the end of April. The delay allows Congress time to pass the package repealing Medicare’s sustainable growth-rate formula when it reconvenes on April 13. The legislation includes a six-month delay in enforcement of the payment rule. The “two midnight” rule assumes an admission was appropriate if a patient’s stay spanned two midnights and that outpatient observation status was appropriate if it did not.

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