Portman Secures Key CMS Change to Ensure UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Can Expand and Treat More Children

Saturday, November 02, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Rob Portman announced that he secured a change in Friday’s final Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule which will allow for University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland to expand their bed count.

Traditionally, what are known as hospital-within-hospital (HwH) rules for Medicare have been used to mitigate exploiting payments when two different types of hospitals share the same space. UH Rainbow, which operates autonomously within University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, had traditionally operated under a grandfathered status from the burdensome HwH rules, because they began co-location prior to the establishment of the rules. A condition to maintaining this grandfathered status, however, prohibited UH Rainbow from expanding its bed count, thus limiting the hospital’s ability to support the greater Cleveland area.
Portman pressed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that, given the limited use of Medicare in children’s hospitals, the Medicare HwH rule was arcane and was holding UH Rainbow back from serving the community. CMS agreed, and on Friday finalized a rule to lift the HwH rules for children’s hospitals. As a result, UH Rainbow will be able to expand and add additional wards and units to support the growing demand for pediatric care in Cleveland.
“I’d like to thank CMS Administrator Seema Verma for issuing this final Medicare outpatient rule, which will lift arcane restrictions on certain children’s hospitals from expanding their bed counts. UH Rainbow was one such hospital, and I’m grateful that the Administrator was willing to work with us to make this change. UH Rainbow is a national leader in pediatric care, and Friday’s rule will allow for UH Rainbow to continue to grow and support children across Cleveland, Ohio, and the nation,” said Portman.
“Today’s news from CMS changing the rules to let UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital expand is great news for kids’ healthcare in Cleveland and northeast Ohio,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
“This regulatory change comes at an important time so we may address growing community health care needs among our pediatric patients. On behalf of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, I’d like to thank Senator Portman for his tireless efforts to ensure that we can continue to grow to serve and support children,” said Patti DePompei, RN, MSN, President of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

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