The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid proposed a rule on Wednesday that makes changes to several aspects of the Medicare payment program. The proposals were part of a wide-ranging, 1,600-plus-page proposed rule issued by the CMS outlining Medicare payment and policy changes for hospitals in 2015. A final rule is scheduled to be published August 1. The policies would be effective October 1.
Under the proposed rule the payments for inpatient treatment at acute-care hospitals will decrease by $241 million in fiscal year 2015. The proposed rule would affect over 3,000 hospitals nationwide. In addition, the CMS proposes increasing Medicare payments to long-term-care hospitals by 0.8% in 2015, a bump of $44 million. The change in payment methodology would affect 435 facilities. Under the proposed payment rule, hospitals that successfully participate in Medicare’s quality reporting system and meet the criteria for the meaningful use of health information technology will see a payment bump of 1.3%. However, because of the penalties meted out to the hospitals that don’t, the CMS is projecting an overall reduction in payments.