A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Cincinnati, has upheld a lower court ruling compelling HHS to return $9 million in disproportionate-share payments to 74-bed Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center, Richmond, Ky., and 75-bed Clark Regional Medical Center, Winchester, Ky. The case could have implications for other hospitals fighting with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over how much federal money they should receive for indigent care. The three-judge panel ruled that the CMS erred by not including swing beds and observation beds as part of the hospitals' total bed counts. The hospitals in 1999 challenged an administrative ruling reducing their Medicare bed count and bumping them into a lower reimbursement category. -- by Mark Taylor
Judges rule HHS owes hospitals for indigent care
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