The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has announced that most hospitals will receive an inflation update of 2.1 percent in their payment rates for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries in outpatient departments. Due to a Medicare requirement, CMS will reduce the update by 2.0 percentage points for hospitals that did not participate in quality data reporting for outpatient services or that did not report the quality data successfully, resulting in only a 0.1 percent update for those hospitals.
CMS also announced that ambulatory surgical centers (“ASCs”) will receive a 1.2 percent inflation update starting January 1, 2010. CMS projects that the aggregate Medicare payments to more than 4,000 hospitals and community mental health centers in calendar year (“CY”) 2010 will be approximately $32.2 billion, while aggregate Medicare payments to approximately 5,000 ASCs will total $3.4 billion.
The payment updates are included in a final rule with comment period that revises payment policies and updates the payment rates for services provided to beneficiaries during CY 2010 in hospital outpatient departments under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (“OPPS”) and in ASCs under a revised rate-setting methodology that was established January 1, 2008.
The updated payment rates are meant to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries continue to receive high quality and efficient care in the most appropriate setting.
The CY 2010 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period will be included in the November 20, 2009 Federal Register. Comments on designated provisions are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on December 29, 2009. CMS will respond to comments in the CY 2011 OPPS/ASC final rule.
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