Medicare panel's payment recommendations pit hospitals against doctors
By Julian Pecquet - 01/16/12 05:04 PM EST
"Cutting hospital reimbursement for evaluation and management services in hospital outpatient departments threatens patient access to care that is not otherwise available in a community," Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement. "Hospitals provide primary and specialty care in a variety of clinics and treat sicker, more complex patients who do not have access to care in a physician's office."
MedPAC also recommended that Congress:
• Increase hospital payments by just 1 percent in FY 2013. The recommendation comes as MedPAC is projecting that hospitals' profit margins for Medicare patients will drop to -7 percent in 2012;
• Increase payment rates for Ambulatory Surgical Centers by .5 percent in 2013;
• Increase payment rates for outpatient dialysis by 1 percent in 2013; and