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RULE §354.1445Potentially Preventable Readmissions

(a) Introduction. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) may reward or penalize a hospital under this section based on the hospital's performance with respect to exceeding or failing to meet outcome and process measures relative to all Texas Medicaid and CHIP hospitals regarding the rates of potentially preventable events.

(b) Definitions.

  (1) Actual-to-Expected Ratio--A ratio that measures the impact of potentially preventable readmissions (PPRs) by deriving an actual hospital rate compared to an expected hospital rate based on a methodology defined by HHSC. HHSC may use cost of PPR as a factor in weighting PPRs and in calculating PPR Actual-to-Expected Ratio.

  (2) Adjustment time period--The state fiscal year (September through August) that a hospital's claims are adjusted in accordance with subsection (f) of this section. Adjustments will be done on an annual basis.

  (3) All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Group (APR DRG)--A diagnosis and procedure code classification system for inpatient services.

  (4) Candidate admission--An admission that is at risk of a PPR.

  (5) Case-mix--A measure of the clinical characteristics of patients treated during the reporting time period and measured using APR DRG or its replacement classification system, severity of illness, patient age, and the presence of a major mental health or substance abuse comorbidity.

  (6) Claims during the reporting time period--Includes Medicaid traditional fee-for-service (FFS), Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP, and managed care inpatient hospital claims filed for reimbursement by a hospital that:

    (A) had a date of admission occurring within the reporting period;

    (B) were adjudicated and approved for payment during the reporting period and the six-month grace period that immediately followed, except for claims that had zero inpatient days;

    (C) were not claims for patients who are covered by Medicare;

    (D) were not claims for individuals classified as undocumented immigrants; and

    (E) were not subject to other exclusions as determined by HHSC.

  (7) Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP or Program--The Texas State Children's Health Insurance Program established under Title XXI of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Chapter 7, Title XXI) and Chapters 62 and 63 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

  (8) Clinically related--A requirement that the underlying reason for readmission be plausibly related to the care rendered during or immediately following the initial admission. A clinically related readmission occurs within a specified readmission time interval resulting from the process of care and treatment during the initial admission or from a lack of post admission follow-up, but not from unrelated events occurring after the initial admission.

  (9) HHSC--The Health and Human Services Commission or its designee.

  (10) Hospital--A public or private institution licensed under Chapter 241 or Chapter 577, Texas Health and Safety Code, including a general or special hospital as defined by §241.003, Texas Health and Safety Code.

  (11) Initial admission--A candidate admission followed by one or more readmissions that are clinically related.

  (12) Managed care organization (MCO)--A provider or organization under contract with HHSC to provide services to Medicaid or CHIP recipients using a health care delivery system or dental services delivery system in which provider or organization coordinates the patient's overall care.

  (13) Medicaid program--The medical assistance program established under Chapter 32, Texas Human Resources Code.

  (14) Potentially preventable event (PPE)--A potentially preventable admission, a potentially preventable ancillary service, a potentially preventable complication, a potentially preventable emergency room visit, a potentially preventable readmission, or a combination of these events, which are more fully defined in §354.1070 of this title.

  (15) Potentially preventable readmission (PPR)--A return hospitalization of a person within a period specified by HHSC that may have resulted from deficiencies in the care or treatment provided to the person during a previous hospital stay or from deficiencies in post-hospital discharge follow-up. The term does not include a hospital readmission necessitated by the occurrence of unrelated events after the discharge. The term includes the readmission of a person to a hospital for:

    (A) the same condition or procedure for which the person was previously admitted;

    (B) an infection or other complication resulting from care previously provided;

    (C) a condition or procedure that indicates that a surgical intervention performed during a previous admission was unsuccessful in achieving the anticipated outcome; or

    (D) another condition or procedure of a similar nature, as determined by HHSC.

  (16) Readmission chain--A sequence of PPRs that are all clinically related to the Initial Admission. A readmission chain may contain an Initial Admission and only one PPR, or may contain multiple PPRs following the Initial Admission.

  (17) Reporting time period--The period of time that includes hospital claims that are assessed for PPRs. This may be a state fiscal year (September through August) or other specified time frame as determined by HHSC. PPR Reports will consist of statewide and hospital-specific reports and will be done at least on an annual basis, using the most complete data period available to HHSC.

  (18) Safety-net hospital--As defined in §355.8052 of this title (relating to Inpatient Hospital Reimbursement).

(c) Calculating a PPR rate. Using claims during the reporting time period and HHSC-designated software and methodology, HHSC calculates an actual PPR rate and an expected PPR rate for each hospital in the analysis. The methodology for inclusion of hospitals in the analysis will be described in the statewide and hospital-specific reports. The actual-to-expected ratio is rounded to two decimal places and used to determine reimbursement adjustments described in subsection (f) of this section.

  (1) The actual PPR rate is the number of readmission chains divided by the number of candidate admissions.

  (2) The expected PPR rate is the expected number of readmission chains divided by the number of candidate admissions. The expected number of readmission chains is based on the hospital's case-mix relative to the case-mix of all hospitals included in the analysis during the reporting period.

  (3) HHSC may weight PPRs based on expected resource use.

(d) Comparing the PPR performance of all hospitals included in analysis. Using the rates determined in subsection (c) of this section, HHSC calculates a ratio of actual-to-expected PPR rates.

(e) Reporting results of PPR rate calculations. HHSC provides a confidential report to each hospital included in the analysis regarding the hospital's performance with respect to potentially preventable readmissions, including the PPR rates calculated as described in subsection (c) of this section and the hospital's actual-to-expected ratio calculated as described in subsection (d) of this section.

  (1) A hospital may request the underlying data used in the analysis to generate the report via an email request to the HHSC email address found on the report.

  (2) The underlying data contains patient-level identifiers, information on all hospitals where the readmissions occurred, and other information deemed relevant by HHSC.

(f) Hospitals subject to reimbursement adjustment and amount of adjustment.

  (1) A hospital with an actual-to-expected PPR ratio equal to or greater than 1.10 and equal to or less than 1.25 is subject to a reimbursement adjustment of -1%;

  (2) A hospital with an actual-to-expected PPR ratio greater than 1.25 is subject to a reimbursement adjustment of -2%.

(g) Claims subject to reimbursement adjustment.

  (1) The reimbursement adjustments described in subsection (f) of this section will apply to all Medicaid fee-for-service claims, based on patient discharge date, for the adjustment time period after the confidential report on which the reimbursement adjustments are based is made available to hospitals.

  (2) The reimbursement adjustments for a hospital will cease in the adjustment time period that is after the hospital receives a confidential report indicating an actual-to-expected ratio of less than 1.10.

  (3) On an annual basis and based on review of the data quality and accuracy, HHSC may determine if reimbursement adjustments are appropriate.

(h) Targeted incentive payments for safety-net hospitals.

  (1) HHSC determines annually whether a safety-net hospital may receive an incentive payment for performance on PPR incidence.

  (2) The appropriated funds for the targeted incentive payments are split in half, 50 percent for PPRs and 50 percent for potentially preventable complications. HHSC may change the allocated percentages based on review of data and the changing needs of the program.

  (3) The dataset used in the incentive analysis is the same as the dataset used in the PPR reimbursement adjustments.

  (4) Hospitals that are eligible for a targeted incentive payment must meet the following requirements:

    (A) be a safety-net hospital;

    (B) have an actual-to-expected ratio of at least 10 percent lower than the statewide average (actual-to-expected ratio is less than or equal to 0.90);

    (C) have not received a penalty for either PPRs or potentially preventable complications; and

    (D) are not low-volume, as defined by HHSC.

  (5) Calculation of targeted incentive payments.

    (A) Calculate base allocation. Each eligible hospital is awarded a base allocation not to exceed $100,000.

    (B) Calculate variable allocation. Each eligible hospital is awarded a variable allocation, which is calculated from remaining funds after distribution of base allocations to all eligible hospitals. The variable allocation has the following components:

      (i) Hospital size score. Each eligible hospital's size divided by the average size of the whole group of hospitals within each incentive pool. Size is calculated based on total inpatient facility claims paid to each eligible hospital. Each eligible hospital's size calculation is capped at 2.00.

      (ii) Hospital Performance score. Each eligible hospital's performance divided by the average performance of the whole group of hospitals within each incentive pool. Performance is calculated by actual to expected ratio.

      (iii) Composite score. Each eligible hospital receives a composite score, which is the hospital's size score multiplied by the hospital's performance score.

      (iv) Each hospital's composite score divided by the sum of all eligible hospitals' composite scores is multiplied by the remaining incentive funds, after distribution of base allocations.

    (C) Calculate final allocation: The final allocation to each eligible hospital is equal to the eligible hospital's base allocation plus the eligible hospital's variable allocation.

  (6) Each eligible hospital's PPR incentive payment will be divided between FFS and MCO reimbursements based on the percentage of its total paid FFS and MCO Medicaid inpatient hospital reimbursements for the reporting time period accruing from FFS.

  (7) PPR incentive payments may be made as lump sum payments or tied to particular claims or recipients, at HHSC's discretion.

  (8) HHSC will post the methodology for calculating and distributing incentives on its public website.

  (9) Targeted incentive payments for safety-net hospitals are not included in the calculation of a hospital's hospital-specific limit or low income utilization rate.

Source Note: The provisions of this §354.1445 adopted to be effective April 21, 2013, 38 TexReg 2315; amended to be effective September 1, 2014, 39 TexReg 6403; amended to be effective May 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 3291

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