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Aug 4 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites public comment by October 3, 2022 regarding the 2022 Hospital Wage Index Occupational Mix Survey.

Section 304(c) of Public Law 106-554 amended section 1886(d)(3)(E) of the Social Security Act to require CMS to collect data every 3 years on the occupational mix of employees for each short-term, acute care hospital participating in the Medicare program, in order to construct an occupational mix adjustment to the wage index, for application beginning October 1, 2004 (the FY 2005 wage index). The purpose of the occupational mix adjustment is to control for the effect of hospitals' employment choices on the wage index. For example, hospitals may choose to employ different combinations of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing aides, and medical assistants for the purpose of providing nursing care to their patients. The varying labor costs associated with these choices reflect hospital management decisions rather than geographic differences in the costs of labor.

CMS takes the data collected from the approximately 3,200 IPPS providers participating in the Medicare program and runs the data through mathematical formulas to create the occupational mix adjustment to the wage index. CMS informs hospitals of the occupational mix adjusted wage indexes through notice and comment rulemaking each year.
 
Currently, there are approximately 3,200 short-term and acute care hospitals in the Medicare program. This survey provides for the collection of occupational mix data for a 12-month period, that is, from pay periods ending between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 to be applied to the FY 2025 wage index.
 
The information provided by the survey will be made public through the CMS public use file website. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-forService-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files.html

Draft survey instrument and technical documentation: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/PaperworkReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing-Items/CMS-10079
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-16681

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