CHA News Article

Congress Holds Two Hearings Focused on Medicare and Hospital Issues

Two U.S. House committees held hearings on the Medicare program today, specifically focused on hospital issues. The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee held a hearing on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), where much of the discussion focused on the new CMS inpatient and medical review criteria commonly referred to as the “two-midnight rule,” the recovery audit contractor (RAC) program and physician supervision. New CMS Deputy Administrator Sean Cavanaugh testified regarding CMS’ intent in developing the two-midnight policy, expressing a willingness to continue working with providers to find alternative solutions to the complex and administratively burdensome policy. In addition, Cavanaugh was questioned repeatedly by legislators who sought further information on the discrepancies between CMS data on overturned RAC decisions and the data reported by hospitals in their districts. During the second panel, the subcommittee heard from providers, a consumer advocate and a representative from HealthDataInsights (HDI), a recovery auditor for California. Written testimony of all witnesses is available on the House Ways and Means Committee website.

The House Oversight Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements held a hearing on Medicare fraud prevention efforts by CMS and again focused much of the discussion on the challenges associated with multiple contractors assessing compliance with a complex set of Medicare regulations and policies. Particular attention was given to the challenges presented by the RAC program. Written testimony and a recording of the hearing are available on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s website.