Hospital units operated exclusively for inpatient rehabilitation or psychiatric services no longer count against the 25-bed limit for critical-access hospitals, the CMS announced, carrying out a provision of the Medicare reform law. The critical-access designation entitles hospitals to cost-based Medicare payments, which often are higher than DRG rates. Rehabilitation units in critical-access hospitals will be reimbursed by Medicare "as if they were distinct parts of acute-care hospitals," the CMS said. Psychiatric units will be paid on a cost basis until an inpatient psychiatric prospective payment system is established. -- by Jeff Tieman
New critical-access rules to allow more services
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