Fifty hospitals file lawsuit against HHS over 'two-midnight' rule

More than 50 hospitals filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services Friday, pushing back against a controversial provision of the “two-midnight” rule that reduces inpatient compensation by 0.2%.

The suit, filed Friday, is the fourth in a string of lawsuits brought by more than 130 hospitals and the American Hospital Association against the HHS in opposition of the rule.

The two-midnight rule requires hospital stays to span two midnights before a patient is considered an inpatient admission. The 0.2% rate cut was designed to offset the estimated $220 million a year in additional costs associated with an increased number of admission.

In a September ruling of a previous case filed against HHS over the rule, a federal judge determined that HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell needed to better justify the rate cut. In response to the judge's ruling, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated that it does “not propose to reconsider the reduction... at this time” but would accept public comments on the provision until February 2, 2016.