Frequently Asked Questions

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Are nursery days and nursery discharges (for newborns) included as acute-inpatient services in the calculation of hospital incentives for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs?

No, nursery days and discharges are not included in inpatient bed-day or discharge counts in calculating hospital incentives. We exclude nursery days and discharges because they are not considered acute inpatient services based on the level of care provided during a normal nursery stay. Pages 44450 and 44453 of the Stage 1 final rule preamble explain that for the Medicare calculation, the statutory language clearly restricts discharges and inpatient bed-days to those from the acute care portion of a hospital. This is because of the definition of "eligible hospital" in section 1886(n)(6)(B) of the Social Security Act. Page 44497 of the Stage 1 final rule explains that statutory parameters placed on Medicaid incentive payments to hospitals are largely based on the methodology applied to Medicare incentive payments. Therefore, as Medicaid is held to the same parameters as Medicare, the same limitations on counting inpatient bed-days and total discharges apply to Medicaid hospital incentive calculations. To view the Stage 1 final rule for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs, please visit: (Stage 2 Final Rule) .For more information about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please visit FAQ10361

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