Corporate Compliance

Medicare to up payments for outpatient services

Compliance Monitor, July 20, 2005

Medicare to up payments for outpatient services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to provide acute care hospitals a 3.2 % inflation increase for outpatient services, beginning in 2006.

The increase comes under a proposed Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rule announced Monday by CMS. The proposed rule will further lower the co-insurance rates that patients in Medicare have to pay for outpatient services, according to CMS.

Sole community hospitals in rural areas will also see a boost in reimbursement under the proposed plan, which provides an additional 6.6% payment adjustment.

"Today's proposed rule will help ensure that beneficiaries have access to quality services in the hospital outpatient setting no matter where they live," said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan in a statement.

The proposed rule will be published in the July 25th Federal Register. Comments will be accepted until Friday, Sept. 16, and a final rule is scheduled to be published by Nov. 1.

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