CMS issues notice clarifying two-midnight rule cuts

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week issued a notice clarifying the basis for 0.2 percent cuts to hospital inpatient payments under the "two-midnight policy." The notice came in response to an October court ruling ordering the agency to provide further justification for the policy as well as a comment period. "We do not believe this cut was or can be justified," Lawrence Hughes, assistant general counsel for the American Hospital Association, said in a statement. "However, we are evaluating the notice and will submit a robust critique to CMS as part of the comment process." Notice (.pdf)