News & Perspectives

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review HHS’ Site-Neutral Medicare Pay Rule

23. July 2021 Sam Fish Health

On Monday, June 28, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal upholding the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) site-neutral Medicare pay policy.  American Hospital Association, et al v. Alex M. Azar II in his capacity as Secretary of HHS.  No. 20-1113.

HHS had instituted a reduction of Medicare hospital off-site payments for patient visits.  A Federal District Court had struck down the policy in 2019.  However, a panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed that decision in 2020.  The Appellate panel held that the cuts to off-site outpatient departments were legal because the reductions were volume control measures that did not have to be budget neutral.  No. 19-5352, July 17,2020. 

Thus, the pay rule is currently effective, pending reaction by HHS.