The CMS announced Tuesday it is implementing the so-called "75% rule," which outlines criteria hospitals must satisfy to qualify as inpatient rehabilitation facilities and receive Medicare payments. The final rule, originally posted May 2004 in the Federal Register, outlines a phased-in approach that gradually increases the threshold from a starting point of 50% to reach 75% effective July 1, 2007. The CMS decision met with criticism from the American Hospital Association, which is unhappy with stipulations that say in part that patients receiving therapy for a single knee or hip replacement won't be counted toward the threshold. The CMS said that by enforcing the rule and studying whether more defined subgroups of patients are necessary, it was following recommendations made by a Government Accountability Office report released in April. The CMS suspended enforcement of the classification criteria after Congress asked the GAO to study the issue. The CMS plans to post a notice about the enactment of the rule in the June 24 Federal Register. -- by Joseph Mantone
'75% rule' draws criticism from hospital association
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