In a concerted effort to move healthcare payments to a system of "quality over quantity," CMS finalized policies that greatly expanded packaging for outpatient providers in the 2015 OPPS final rule. It also introduced complexity adjustments with comprehensive APCs (C-APCs).
CMS proposed that a new HCPCS modifier be appended to every code for a service furnished in a hospital's off-campus provider-based department on both the CMS-1500 claim form for physicians' services and the UB-04 form (CMS Form 1450) for hospital outpatient services in the 2015 OPPS proposed rule. Despite many detailed comments opposing this change, no consensus emerged; therefore, CMS is moving forward with implementing a slightly modified policy.
As CMS pushes the OPPS from a fee-for-service program toward more of a true prospective payment system, financial impact analysis of changes, departmental budgeting, and forecasting has become more complicated each year.