thefederalregister.com

Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Reasonable Charges for Inpatient MS-DRGs and SNF Medical Services for 2010; Fiscal Year Update

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: The regulations include methodologies for establishing billed amounts for the following types of charges: acute inpatient facility charges; skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charges; partial hospitalization facility charges; outpatient facility charges; physician and other professional charges, including professional charges for anesthesia services and dental services; pathology and laboratory charges; observation care facility charges; ambulance and other emergency transportation charges; and charges for durable medical equipment, drugs, injectables, and other medical services, items, and supplies identified by Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II codes. The regulations also provide that data for calculating actual charge amounts at individual VA facilities based on these methodologies will either be published in a notice in theFederal Registeror will be posted on the Internet site for the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, under "Charge Data." Certain charges are hereby updated as described in the Supplementary Information section of this notice. These changes are effective October 1, 2009.

When charges for medical care or services provided or furnished at VA expense by either VA or non-VA providers have not been established under other provisions of the regulations, the method for determining VA's charges is set forth at 38 CFR 17.101(a)(8).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Romona Greene, Chief Business Office (168), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-1595. (This is not a toll free number.)
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Of the charge types listed in the Summary section of this notice, only the acute inpatient facility charges and skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charges are being changed. Charges for the following charge types: partial hospitalization facility charges; outpatient facility charges; physician and other professional charges, including professional charges for anesthesia services and dental services; pathology and laboratory charges; observation care facility charges; ambulance and other emergency transportation charges; and charges for durable medical equipment, drugs, injectables, and other medical services, items, and supplies identified by HCPCS Level II codes are not being changed. These outpatient facility charges and Professional charges remain the same as set forth in a notice published in theFederal Registeron December 11, 2008 (73 FR 239).

Based on the methodologies set forth in 38 CFR 17.101(b), this document provides an update to acute inpatient charges that were based on 2009 Medicare severity diagnosis related groups (MS-DRGs). Acute inpatient facility charges by MS-DRGs are set forth in Table A and are posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, under “Charge Data.” This Table A corresponds to the Table A referenced in the October 1, 2008,Federal RegisterNotice. Table A referenced in this notice provides updated charges based on 2010 MS-DRGs and will replace Table A posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, which corresponds to the Table A referenced in the October 1, 2008,Federal Registernotice.

Also, this document provides for an updated all-inclusive per diem charge for skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charge using the methodologies set forth in 38 CFR 17.101(c) and it is adjusted by a geographic area factor based on the location where the care is provided. The skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility per diem charge is set forth in Table B and is posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, under “Charge Data.” This Table B corresponds to the Table B referenced in the October 1, 2008,Federal RegisterNotice. Table B referenced in this notice provides updated all-inclusive nationwide skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility per diem charge and will replace Table B posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, which corresponds to the Table B referenced in the October 1, 2008,Federal Registernotice.

The charges in this update for acute inpatient facility and skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility services are effective October 1, 2009.

In this update, we are retaining the table designations used for acute inpatient facility charges by MS-DRGs which is posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, under “Charge Data.” We also are retaining the table designation used for skilled nursing facility/sub-acute inpatient facility charges which is posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, under “Charge Data.” Accordingly, the tables identified as being updated by this notice correspond to the applicable tables referenced in the October 1, 2008, notice beginning with Table A through Table B.

We have updated the list of data sources presented in Supplementary Table 1 posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.aspto reflect the updated data sources used to establish the updated charges described in this notice.

We have also updated the list of VA medical facility locations. As a reminder, in Supplementary Table 3 posted on the internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, we set forth the list of VA medical facility locations, which includes their three-digit zip codes and provider-based/non-provider-based designations.

Consistent with VA's regulations, the updated data tables and supplementary tables containing the changes described in this notice will be posted on the Internet site of the Veterans Health Administration Chief Business Office, currently athttp://www1.va.gov/CBO/apps/rates/index.asp, under “Charge Data.”

Approved: September 3, 2009. John R. Gingrich, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.