CMS Proposes Payment System for Federally Qualified Health Centers

CMS has issued a proposed rule to create a Medicare prospective payment system for federally qualified health centers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The proposed, updated payment system would take effect Oct. 1, 2014, and would increase Medicare reimbursements to qualified health centers by about 30 percent for services delivered to beneficiaries in medically underserved areas, according to a news release. Federally qualified health centers are generally required to treat all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Medicare currently pays these centers based on reasonable costs, subject to established Medicare coverage pay limits. Under the proposed system, Medicare will pay the centers a single encounter rate per beneficiary per day for all services provided. CMS would adjust the rate for geographic variation in costs and the higher cost of providing care to a patient who is new to the health center or who is there for a comprehensive initial Medicare visit.

In addition to the new payment system proposal, last week, HHS awarded $67 million to health centers across the nation to create 32 new healthcare delivery sites, which will increase access to preventive and primary care for more than 130,000 additional people

CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until Nov. 18.

More Articles on Healthcare Providers:
HHS Distributes $67M to Expand, Improve Healthcare Delivery
CMS Extends Comment Period For Outpatient, ASC Payment Rules
OIG Slams 3 Hospitals, Health Systems for $2.3M in Medicare Overpayments 

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