The CMS last week proposed expanding its post-acute transfer policy to include a total of 29 DRGs, up from the 10 DRGs that are currently subject to the rule. Under the controversial post-acute transfer policy, hospitals that refer certain patients to post-acute facilities are reimbursed by Medicare on a per diem basis, which often reduces their payments. "This is a provision that needs to be removed from the final rule," said Carmela Coyle, senior vice president of policy for the American Hospital Association, which adamantly opposes the transfer policy along with several other provider groups. The newly proposed additions to the policy are subject to a 60-day comment period that began May 9; the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on May 21. If the additional DRGs become part of the transfer policy, Coyle said, hospitals would lose some $160 million in Medicare payments next year. -- by Jeff Tieman
CMS proposes post-acute transfer policy expansion
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