The CMS issued a final rule that would limit the types of outpatient hospital services covered by Medicaid. The rule was originally proposed along with six others as a means to help tighten areas of the Medicaid program that are ripe for abusive billing practices, but instead drew immediate fire from hospital and patient advocacy groups that said the actions would lead to steep cuts in important funding. In June, six of the seven rules were overturned as part of a broader spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. The outpatient rulethen just a proposalstayed in play. Tom Nickels, senior vice president of federal affairs for the American Hospital Association, said that they would lobby members of Congress during the lame-duck session this month in order to get a legislative hold put on the rule. Congress could take up a second economic stimulus package, which would likely serve as the main vehicle for a moratorium. Well give it a try if theres an economic stimulus during the lame duck, Nickels said. If theres not a stimulus, we will certainly pursue this when Congress comes back for the new session.
Late News: CMS issues final rule on services covered by Medicaid
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