Long-Term Care Hospitals Face Reimbursement Decrease
CMS on Tuesday said that Medicare reimbursements to long-term care hospitals will decrease by an estimated 3.7% in July, rather than 11% as previously proposed, CQ HealthBeat reports (CQ HealthBeat, 5/2).
In January, CMS proposed a regulation that would reduce Medicare reimbursements for "short-stay outliers," or beneficiaries who stay at LTCHs for relatively short periods of time. CMS estimated that the regulation would reduce Medicare reimbursements for LTCHs by 11% in July (California Healthline, 4/14).
House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chair Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) and other lawmakers opposed the regulation over concerns that the decrease in Medicare reimbursements would limit the ability of LTCHs to provide adequate care (CQ HealthBeat, 5/2).
In April, a bipartisan group of 11 members of the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to CMS that asked agency officials to reconsider the regulation (California Healthline, 4/14).
Meanwhile, CMS on Monday said that Medicare reimbursements to inpatient psychiatric facilities will increase by an average of 4% in July (CQ HealthBeat, 5/2).
In related news, KPCC's "Air Talk" on Wednesday included a discussion of the 2006 annual report released this week by Medicare trustees finding that the Medicare hospital trust fund will become insolvent in 2018, two years earlier than was predicted last year and Medicare's hospital expenses will exceed its income by 2010.
Guests on the program included David Gratzer, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and Theodore Marmor, professor of public policy and political science at Yale University (Mantle, "Air Talk," KPCC, 5/3). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.