Earlier this month, CMS released its 2017 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, which proposed removing Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems' Pain Management dimension.
While CMS proposed the rule in response to providers' concerns over the pain management assessment's correlation to opioid prescribing patterns, a coalition opposed the proposal, citing a lack of evidence proving the link existed, according to Medscape MultiSpecialty.
Here are five takeaways:
1. American Pain Society, American Academy of Pain Medicine and American Academy of Hospital and Palliative Medicine were among the groups opposing CMS' proposed rule.
2. The groups claim CMS' proposal undermines the national effort to improve pain management, and would revert the industry back to a time when providers under-treated pain.
3. Additionally, the coalition said there is no evidence linking the HCAHPS' questions to opioid prescribing patterns. Rather, the groups say the rule would "send the wrong message to clinicians and patients."
4. CMS is keeping the current HCAHPS pain questions in place until the agency devises new questions that get rid of the potential ambiguity in the current questions. However, the questions will not dictate providers' value-based payment rates in 2018 so providers do not feel pressure to overprescribe pain medications.
5. CMS is accepting public feedback on its 2017 proposed regulations until September 6.
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