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GAO reports on inpatient payment method

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

A July 28 Government Accountability Office report finds that CMS' proposed method to switch to a cost-based payment system "appears promising," though two of the 10 proposed cost centers used in the calculations - therapeutic and operating room services - raise concerns. The report also evaluates applying the outpatient cost-based payment weighting method to the inpatient system, an alternative AdvaMed proposed in its June 9 comments to CMS (1"The Gray Sheet" June 19, 2006, p. 13). GAO says the outpatient methodology "could undermine the objective of better aligning DRG weights with actual costs." The final inpatient rule is slated for release Aug. 1...

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