Kindred Healthcare, Louisville, Ky., said proposed Medicare reimbursement for long-term acute-care hospitals would reduce the company's short-stay and outlier revenue from Medicare by $115 million to $120 million annually. Kindred said Medicare revenue to its 73 LTAC hospitals totaled $822 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2005. The estimated revenue loss does not include the negative impact of the proposed elimination of the annual marketbasket update to LTAC rates. Earlier this month, the CMS proposed freezing the federal LTAC rate at $38,086 per patient for the 2007 rate year beginning July 1 and reducing reimbursement for patient stays of fewer than 25 days. Kindred said the CMS' proposal made "the erroneous assumption that certain LTAC hospital patients whose length of stay is shorter than average are similar to patients treated in short-term acute-care hospitals ... Even shorter stay LTAC patients are medically complex and require extensive medical services." The company said rather than cut payments, the CMS should revise LTAC patient and hospital certification criteria to address policy issues. -- by Jessica Zigmond
Kindred says Medicare LTAC proposal will hurt
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