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Congress scales back inpatient reductions

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Congress moves to reduce offsets to Medicare hospital inpatient payments during the week of Sept. 24, just before the cuts are slated to go into effect Oct. 1. Under CMS' fiscal 2008 inpatient rule, payments would be reduced across-the-board by 1.2% in 2008, and by 1.8% in both 2009 and 2010 to maintain budget neutrality amidst expected changes in coding practice due to a switch to new severity-based payment classifications (1"The Gray Sheet" Aug. 6, 2007, p. 6). The House and Senate passed legislation (H.R. 3668) Sept. 26 and 27, respectively, that shrinks the offsets to 0.6% in 2008 and 0.9% in 2009. The adjustment for 2010 is still on the table. The American Hospital Association says it will continue to lobby to further mitigate reductions

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