B2B Payments

CMS Updates Medicare Payment Policies

On Monday (Aug. 4), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services issued itsfinal rule on Medicare payment policies and rates for general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) for the fiscal year 2015.

The rule updates Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at LTCHs for fiscal year 2015. According to a CMS statement, the update builds on the administration’s efforts for better hospital patient outcomes and slowing the long-term health care cost growth.

CMS explained that the payment rate update to general acute care hospitals will be 1.4 percent in FY 2015, while the rate update for long term care hospitals will be 0.9 percent.

“Today’s policies further support our efforts to continue improving the care our Medicare beneficiaries receive while also cutting the growth of Medicare costs,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said.  “This final rule builds on our recent efforts to improve hospital performance while giving hospitals the clarity and resources they need to deliver the best possible patient care.”

However, as FierceHealthcare pointed out, the update also reducesoverall Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments by 1.3 percent. The American Hospital Association was not pleased with this aspect, as the cuts were deeper than originally believed.

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