The Affordable Care Act requires establishment of a quality data reporting program for hospices and long-term care hospitals, with reduced Medicare payments beginning in fiscal year 2014 for those that do not participate.

In a notice published Sept. 2 in the Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposes the hospice program start with a voluntary quality reporting cycle from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011, with data reported to CMS by January 31, 2012.

"There shall be a mandatory hospice quality reporting cycle which will consist of data collected from October 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012," according to the notice. "This data shall be reported to CMS by no later than April 1, 2013. Thereafter, it is proposed that all subsequent hospice quality reporting cycles will be based on the calendar-year basis (that is, January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013 for determination of the hospice market basket increase factor for each hospice in FY 2015, etc.)."

The notice also details the new quality reporting program for long-term care hospitals with a new data set that CMS has created. "LTCHs that fail to submit quality measure data may be subject to a 2 percentage point reduction in their annual update to the standard federal rate for discharges occurring during a rate year, beginning in FY 2014."


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