MedPAC Releases FY 2013 Hospital Payment Recommendations

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission prepared a draft recommendation (pdf) to Congress, which included a 1 percent increase in hospital inpatient and outpatient payments for fiscal year 2013.

MedPAC also included a draft recommendation that would equalize Medicare payment rates for non-emergency evaluation and management services between hospital outpatient departments and physician offices. According to MedPAC's presentation, the shift of services from a freestanding practice to an HOPD has resulted from hospitals boosting efforts in their employment of physicians. However, the American Hospital Association has argued that the E/M payment reduction would stifle hospitals that already treat more severe outpatient cases.

"We are extremely disappointed in this recommendation that would result in a 3.0 percent cut to outpatient departments, whose Medicare margins were already negative 9.6 percent in 2010," said AHA Vice President for Policy Don May in an AHA News Now report.

MedPAC's next meeting will take place Jan. 12-13, 2012, and will focus on public comments regarding the draft recommendations.

Related Articles on Hospital Medicare Payments:

AHA Opposes MedPAC's Proposal to Equalize E/M Medicare Payment Rates

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