The CMS proposed a 3.3% Medicare payment update for rehabilitation hospitals in 2004 and a 2.9% increase for skilled-nursing facilities. Both proposed rules will be published in the May 16 Federal Register. The 60-day public comment period began yesterday. The proposed update for acute-care hospitals is expected to be released later today or sometime next week, according to the CMS. Rehabilitation hospitals received a 3% increase in 2003, and "this time we expect these valuable hospitals will see a slightly higher rise in their payment rate," CMS Administrator Tom Scully said in a written statement, referring to the proposed 3.3% hike. Congress could mandate different rates before a final rule is implemented. The proposed 2.9% update for nursing homes would increase Medicare spending by $400 million next year. -- by Jeff Tieman
CMS proposes 2004 rehab, skilled-nursing updates
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