CMS To Boost Medicare Payments to Hospitals by $5 Billion
CMS on Monday released its changes to the Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System for fiscal year 2005 and said it will boost reimbursements to hospitals by $5 billion, the AP/Spokane Spokesman-Review reports. According to the regulations, published in the Federal Register, payments to urban hospitals will increase an average of 5.7%, and payments to rural hospitals will increase an average of 6.2%. In total, CMS will spend about $105 billion on hospital payments in the fiscal year beginning in October. The changes also boost payments to hospitals that report quality data to the government, according to CMS Administrator Mark McClellan (AP/Spokane Spokesman-Review, 8/3). The quality reporting bonus is an expansion of a pilot program that collects information on heart disease, heart attack and pneumonia care included in the new Medicare law. "For the first time, Medicare is paying hospitals for performance, and it's working," McClellan said. He added, "As a result of the payments, the vast majority of hospitals are reporting measures of quality that patients can use to get better care" (Heldt Powell, Boston Herald, 8/3). The payment changes are available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.