The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a final regulation establishing a prospective payment system for long-term acute-care hospitals. The system, which ties payment rates to patient acuity, will go into effect Oct. 1 and will apply to more than 270 hospitals. Regardless of location, facilities will receive a single payment rate for both operating and capital costs. The new payment methodology will be phased in over five years, but hospitals can elect to fully convert to it at the start of any cost reporting period during the transition. Over the five-year period, the methodology will be adjusted to reflect regional wage differences. The final rule will be published in tomorrow's Federal Register. -- by Susanna Duff
CMS issues final rule for long-term acute-care PPS
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