CMS Issues Final Rules On Medicare Reimbursements

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CMS onTuesday and Wednesday issued final rules on Medicare reimbursements forinpatient hospital, inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursingfacility care that agency officials said would help ensure theprogram's long-term sustainability, CQ HealthBeatreports. The inpatient hospital care rule in fiscal year 2008 willreduce Medicare reimbursements by 1.2%, rather than 2.4% as CMSpreviously had proposed, although agency officials indicated thepossibility of future adjustments. Under the rule, Medicarereimbursements for inpatient hospital care will increase by a total of$4 billion in FY 2008, according to CMS.

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The rule alsoincludes provisions to ensure that Medicare no longer reimburses forthe additional costs of some preventable conditions, such as certainhospital-acquired infections. In addition, the rule expands the list ofpublicly reported quality measures and reduces Medicare reimbursementswhen hospitals replace devices that they receive at no or reduced cost.The inpatient rehabilitation care rule will increase Medicarereimbursements for such treatment by an average of 3.2% in FY 2008.

Asof July 1, 2008, CMS no longer will consider "co-morbidities" indeterminations of whether facilities qualify for Medicarereimbursements for inpatient rehabilitation care, a provision opposedby the American Hospital Association. The skilled nursing facility care rule will increase Medicare reimbursements by 3.3% in FY 2008 (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 8/1).
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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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