The CMS must reopen reimbursement decisions up to nine years old affecting disproportionate-share funds for Baystate Health System, Springfield, Mass., and 27 other hospitals, according to a ruling earlier this week by U.S. District Court in Washington. In all, more than 600 hospitals have filed for retroactive disproportionate-share reimbursement totaling possibly more than $100 million, said Murray Klein of Reed Smith, Princeton, N.J., who represents 100 of the hospitals. Disproportionate-share payments compensate hospitals that treat a high number of indigent patients. Former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala in 1997 issued a correction to the formula used to calculate the payments but refused to adjust the money hospitals had received for previous years. Hospitals challenged the refusal, and in 2001 two New York hospitals won a landmark decision that said under Medicare regulations hospitals had up to three years to file for reopening. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington cited the case in ruling for Baystate. -- by Mark Taylor
Court orders review of indigent-care payments
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