The Medicare reform law will either benefit or have little to no effect on the nearly 570 not-for-profit hospitals rated by Moody's Investors Service, the ratings agency said in a new report. While the federal deficit could put pressure on lawmakers to cut provider payments, Moody's said, the Medicare law includes some of the most generous reimbursement increases in years, especially for rural hospitals. "The law will have a modest positive impact on teaching hospitals and on hospitals competing with physician-owned specialty hospitals, but in general there is little to no impact on most urban hospitals," the Moody's report said. The law gave all hospitals a Medicare rate increase equal to inflation in 2004, only the third full-inflation update in 20 years. Provisions addressing wage indexes and disproportionate-share payments also will benefit some hospitals, the report said. -- by Jeff Tieman
Medicare law won't affect hospitals much: Moody's
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