Vizient shares health equity and payment policy recommendations with CMS in IPPS Proposed Rule comments

June 20, 2022 – Vizient recently offered comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the FY 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Proposed Rule. In our comments, Vizient shared feedback and recommendations related to health equity measurement and hospitals’ increasing costs of goods and services, among other proposals. 

Regarding health equity, Vizient encouraged CMS to consider various factors affecting health equity and work to identify which of those factors are within a provider’s locus of control when selecting approaches to address inequities. To improve measurement efforts, Vizient urged CMS to utilize an index, such as the Vizient Vulnerability Index™ (VVI), which is designed to better understand community-level social needs and includes geographic adjustments. Additionally, given the agency’s proposals to add two new social needs screening measures to the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, Vizient encouraged CMS to work with stakeholders to define and determine standards for data collection to ensure patient data will be collected and interpreted consistently.   

“It is important that CMS consider the multiple dimensions that impact healthcare inequities and how they may impact a patient’s healthcare journey. Health equity-focused tools, such as the VVI, will help to provide hospitals with deeper insights into their community’s social needs,” said Shoshana Krilow, senior vice president of public policy and government relations for Vizient. “We thank CMS for its commitment to addressing health equity by gaining stakeholder feedback to inform future policy proposals.” 

Vizient also provided various recommendations regarding the agency’s efforts to provide stability to providers in the wake of COVID-19 and encouraged the agency to help address hospitals’ increasing costs including through additional payments for supplies, such as NIOSH-approved surgical N95 respirators. 

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