The CMS has published a final rule that establishes the 2009 federal payment rate for long-term acute-care hospitals, a measure the agency said will save money for the Medicare program in the future.
From July 1, 2008 until Sept. 30, 2009, the standard federal payment rate for the nations nearly 400 long-term acute-care hospitals will be $39,114.36. This represents a 2.7% increase from fiscal 2008, according to the CMS, which said aggregate payments for long-term acute-care hospitals in 2009 are estimated to be about $4.7 billion, or about $110 million more than payments in 2008.
The final rule provides incentives to [LTACs] to continue to provide compassionate, efficient care to some of Medicares most severely ill patients, while helping to preserve the solvency of the Medicare Hospital Trust Fund for future generations, acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems said in a news release. Long-term acute-care hospitals are those that have patients who have inpatient stays which are typically longer than 25 days.
When the CMS issued its proposed rule in January, the Acute Long Term Hospital Association (Print subscription required) said establishing patient and facility criteria is still a priority for this segment. -- by Jessica Zigmond