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Notice

Medicare Program: Renewal of the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces the renewal of the Advisory Panel (the Panel) on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP) charter. The charter was approved on November 6, 2014 for a 2-year period effective through November 6, 2016. This notice publicly announces the renewal of the HOP Panel for another 2-year period. The purpose of the Panel is to advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the clinical integrity of the Ambulatory Payment Classification groups and their relative payment weights. The Panel also addresses and makes recommendations regarding supervision of hospital outpatient services. The advice provided by the Panel will be considered as we prepare the annual updates for the hospital outpatient prospective payment system.

DATES:

April 24, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Web site: For additional information on the Panel meeting dates, agenda topics, copy of the charter, and updates to the Panel's activities, we refer readers to our Web site at the following address: https://www.cms.gov/​Regulations-and-Guidance/​Guidance/​FACA/​AdvisoryPanelonAmbulatoryPaymentClassificationGroups.html.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Designated Federal Official (DFO): Carol Schwartz, DFO, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop: C4-04-25, Woodlawn, MD 21244-1850. Phone: (410) 786-3985. Email: APCPanel@cms.hhs.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) is required by section 1833(t)(9)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) (42 U.S.C. 1395l(t)(9)(A)) and is allowed by section 222 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) (42 U.S.C. 217(a)) to consult with an expert outside advisory panel on the clinical integrity of the Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) groups and relative payment weights, which are major elements of the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS), and the appropriate supervision level for hospital outpatient services. The Panel is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463), as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory panels.

The Panel Charter provides that the Panel shall meet up to 3 times annually. We consider the technical advice provided by the Panel as we prepare the proposed and final rules to update the OPPS for the following calendar year.

II. Renewal of the Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP) Panel

The Panel was originally chartered on November 21, 2000 and the Panel requires a recharter every 2 years. This notice announces the renewal of the HOP Panel charter, which was approved on November 6, 2014 for a 2-year period effective through November 6, 2016. The charter will terminate on November 6, 2016, unless renewed by appropriate action. CMS intends to recharter the Panel for another 2-year period prior to the expiration of the current charter.

Pursuant to the renewed charter, the Panel will advise the Secretary and CMS concerning optimal strategies for the following:

  • Addressing whether procedures within an APC group are similar both clinically and in terms of resource use.
  • Reconfiguring APCs (for example, splitting of APCs, moving Healthcare Common Procedures Coding System (HCPCS) codes from one APC to another, and moving HCPCS codes from new technology APCs to clinical APCs).
  • Evaluating APC group weights.
  • Reviewing packaging the cost of items and services, including drugs and devices into procedures and services; including the methodology for packaging and the impact of packaging the cost of those items and services on APC group structure and payment.
  • Removing procedures from the inpatient list for payment under the OPPS payment system.
  • Using claims and cost report data for CMS' determination of APC group costs.
  • Addressing other technical issues concerning APC group structure.
  • Evaluating the required level of supervision for hospital outpatient services.

III. Copies of the Charter

To obtain a copy of the Panel's Charter, we refer readers to the CMS Web site at: http://www.cms.gov/​Regulations-andGuidance/​Guidance/​FACA/​AdvisoryPanelonAmbulatoryPaymentClassificationGroups.html. Also, a copy of the Panel's Charter can be received by submitting a request to the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION section of this notice.

IV. Collection of Information Requirements

This document does not impose information collection requirements, that is, reporting, recordkeeping or third-party disclosure requirements. Consequently, there is no need for review by the Office of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

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Dated: April 13, 2015.

Andrew M. Slavitt,

Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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[FR Doc. 2015-09609 Filed 4-23-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P