Hospitals would receive a 1% increase in their 2012 Medicare payment rates for inpatient and outpatient services, under recommendations issued Tuesday by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
MedPAC urges 1% bump for docs, hospitals
The commission had considered a recommended hospital payment update of 2.5% but reduced it as part of an effort to recoup what MedPAC members view as likely past overpayments stemming from “severity-diagnosis related groups” in 2008, according to its annual report to Congress. The commissioners warned that additional cuts in future payments are needed because of other overpayments.
MedPAC also recommended a 1% increase in physician fees for 2012. That recommendation was based on the commission's conclusion that “access to physician and other health professional services is good nationally” but some beneficiaries have problems finding a new primary-care physician.
Those increases differed from MedPAC's approach to home healthcare services, for which it recommended no increase in 2012 and a two-year “rebasing” of home health rates beginning in 2013. The recommendations followed the commission's significant focus on home health providers over the last year. That focus also led the commission to urge changes to the program to address “significant vulnerabilities” while controlling costs and improving quality.
Similarly, the commission recommended no increase for long-term-care hospitals or skilled-nursing facilities in 2012.
The commission recommended an increase of 0.5% for ambulatory surgical center payments in 2012, along with a requirement that they submit cost and quality data.
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