CMS ended its provider agreement with Blackfoot-based Idaho Doctors’ Hospital July 20.
Under rules enacted last September, a healthcare facility must average at least two inpatients per day and an at least two-night average length of stay to be considered an inpatient hospital for Medicare reimbursement. In April, CMS determined Doctors’ Hospital is not primarily engaged in providing care to inpatients and does not meet the new federal requirements for Medicare participation. The agency subsequently sent Doctors’ Hospital a Medicare termination notice.
“To go from being OK just 18 months ago, when we had our last survey, to now being told that we don’t meet the CMS conditions of participation because of new interpretations of the regulations is just difficult to comprehend,” Dave Lowry, administrative manager at Idaho Doctors’ Hospital, told KIFI earlier this month. “Like any business that is regulated by government agencies, we fully expect there to be changes to rules and their interpretations, but this drastic level of change just goes to show how much uncertainty there is in healthcare right now.”
After receiving the termination notice from CMS, Doctors’ Hospital sent letters to all patients affected by the contract termination, a spokesperson told Becker’s Hospital Review.
“We have worked with other area hospitals who provide the same services, and our staff provides this information for any patients who call with questions on where to go for care,” the Doctors’ Hospital spokesperson said.