MedPAC pushes for higher rates, but only for hospitals and doctors

From Modern Healthcare:

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has suggested hospitals and doctors get payment bumps in 2018. Other sectors, including ambulatory surgery centers, skilled-nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, should get no increases, the group says.

MedPAC commissioners signed off Thursday on preliminary recommendations that the government boost Medicare payments for hospital inpatient and outpatient services in 2018 as outlined under current law, which is an estimated at 1.85%, and for physicians, which is at at 0.5%. Acute-care hospitals and physicians both saw slight increases in their Medicare volumes in 2015.

However, MedPAC repeated its suggestion from last year not to raise payments for ambulatory surgery centers in 2018, arguing those outpatient facilities appear to be financially healthy at current reimbursement rates, which hit $4.1 billion for 3.4 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2015. The industry unsurprisingly shot back.

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