Hospital outpatient departments will see a 2.15% increase in their Medicare payments under a proposed CMS rule that will set payment rates for outpatient services and ambulatory surgical centers in 2011. The update reflects an inflationary increase of 2.4% less a 0.25 percentage point reduction required under the new reform law. Overall, the agency estimates that more than 4,000 hospitals and other facilities will get paid a total of $40 billion next year under the outpatient prospective payment system, whereas 5,000 ambulatory surgery centers will receive approximately $4 billion. According to the CMS, the rulemaking includes several health reform law provisions to boost payments to certain groups of hospitals, such as a small number of cancer hospitals, the CMS stated. The proposed rule would also implement graduate medical education provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such as redistributing unused residency slots to hospitals with qualified residency programs. The CMS plans to accept comments until Aug. 31, and issue a final rule on Nov. 1.
Late News: CMS proposes 2.15% Medicare increase for outpatient services
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