The CMS lowered its final increase for hospitals rates in 2016 to a scant 0.9%, down from the 1.1% increase it proposed in April. The move will heighten pressure on the nation's 3,400 acute-care hospitals to rein in costs and reduce unnecessary spending.
The 435 long-term care hospitals certified by Medicare will see a 4.5% cut in their payments in fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1. The CMS on Friday posted a final rule that said long-term care hospitals can expect to see a decrease in payments by $250 million next year.
The inpatient prospective payment system is meant to create incentives that encourage efficiency and reduce unnecessary costs in U.S. hospitals that offer care to Medicare beneficiaries. The changes outlined will further those goals, the CMS says, while maintaining the financial viability of the hospital industry and ensuring access to high quality healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries.
The more than 2,100-page rule also outlines new quality reporting requirements for acute-care hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as for cancer hospitals that are exempt from the prospective payment system. It also updates policies related to the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, and the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program.
While the rule was billed as final, the agency said it will accept comments through the end of September. The rules goes into effect Oct. 1.