Hospital outpatient departments will see a 1.9% increase in their Medicare payments under a proposed CMS rule that will set payment rates for outpatient services and ambulatory surgical centers in 2010. The agency estimates that more than 4,000 hospitals and other facilities will get paid a total of $31.5 billion next year under the outpatient prospective payment system, or OPPS, an increase from projected payments of $28.7 billion in 2009. The American Hospital Association is encouraged that the proposed rule suggests revising a policy requiring the presence of physicians in outpatient departments at all times when outpatient services are provided, regardless of whether those services take place in the hospital, on the hospital campus or off-campus. The measure went into effect in the 2009 0PPS rule. In its proposed rule for 2010, the agency suggests adding some flexibility to this policy by permitting nonphysician practitioners to provide direct supervision of outpatient care. The CMS plans to accept comments on the proposed rule until Aug. 31, and issue a final rule on Nov. 1.
Late News Proposed rule would bump Medicare outpatient pay by 1.9%
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