Leg­is­la­tors of­fer sup­port for hos­pi­tal re­im­burse­ment

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

In the mid­dle of their cam­paign to ed­u­cate Congress about how pro­posed cuts to Medi­care and Med­i­caid will af­fect them, the nation’s hos­pi­tals re­ceived some sup­port from fed­eral lawmakers this week. Forty-five sen­a­tors signed their names to a letter to CMS Ad­min­is­tra­tor Dr. Don­ald Ber­wick ask­ing him to en­sure that the method­ol­ogy for the pro­posed Medi­care in­pa­tient prospec­tive pay­ment sys­tem reg­u­la­tion ac­count for po­ten­tial changes in pa­tient sever­ity and “con­sider an ap­pro­pri­ate ad­just­ment to the pro­posed cuts.” Sens. Deb­bie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) wrote the letter, which also said if the pro­posed rule is en­acted, it would cut hos­pi­tal re­im­burse­ment by $6 bil­lion in fis­cal 2012. Mean­while, 218 House mem­bers sent a letter of their own to Ber­wick. Led by Reps. Pete Ses­sions (RTexas) and Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the letter echoed the sen­a­tors’ mes­sage that the fi­nal rule should ac­count for pa­tient sever­ity. “We note that MedPAC has shown that hos­pi­tals are be­ing paid sub­stan­tially less than the cost of de­liv­er­ing care to Medi­care pa­tients,” said the letter from the lower cham­ber. “In fact, MedPAC pro­jected a neg­a­tive 7% over­all Medi­care mar­gin for hos­pi­tals in FY 2011.”

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