Critical-access hospitals not part of CMS quality program

Raising some hackles, CMS has made the decision to exclude critical-access hospitals from its Hospital Outpatient Quality Data Reporting program. The program, which kicks off in April 2008, will require hospital outpatient departments to report on seven quality measures, most of which are heart-attack related. CMS's move has raised the ire of these hospitals, many of already provide inpatient quality data to CMS's Hospital Compare website. Starting in 2009, hospitals who don't participate in this program could face a 2 percent cut in their annual outpatient update.

To find out more about these issues:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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