cmsIn an interview with Capital New York, Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, said that, according to an update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, enforcement of the two-midnight rule is scheduled now to begin October 1, 2014. This is the third time that CMS has delayed implementation of the agency’s controversial new rule that has been vehemently opposed by organizations including the American Hospital Association since its establishment last year.

While acknowledging that this certainly is good news for now, Raske indicated that his organization and colleagues do not intend to relax their efforts to have the rule repealed. “We will continue to vigorously oppose the two-midnight policy and seek to overturn it through both legislation and the judicial process,” Raske said.

The two-midnight rule dictates that Medicare will pay hospitals inpatient rates only for those patients who are admitted for at least two consecutive midnights. While CMS says that it introduced the policy to facilitate better handling of short-term admissions and to ensure the necessity of inpatient stays, opponents argue that it undermines the professional opinions of physicians and stands to cost hospitals as much as $2 billion a year.

To learn more about the two-midnight rule and the postponement of its implementation, click here.