Acute care providers get a payment increase from Medicare of 3% and long-term care hospitals receive an update of 1.35% in a final rule issued Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), according to a release posted to MD Linx.
In addition, CMS said it is finalizing the proposal to eliminate the 25% threshold policy in a budget-neutral manner. Under the policy, if more than a quarter of long-term care patients come from the same acute-care hospital, the long-term care hospital gets a reduction in Medicare reimbursement.
Overall, CMS said it projects that the long-term care hospital payments will increase by approximately 0.9%, or $39 million in 2019.
The 3% increase reflects rate updates required by law and payments for new technologies and uncompensated care, CMS said.
Technology includes the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to improve the flow of information between providers and patients. APIs enable patients to collect their health information from multiple providers and incorporate it into a single portal, application, program, or other software.
Through a request for information issued in April, CMS received stakeholder feedback on solutions for achieving its goals of interoperability and the sharing of health-care data between providers.
While the agency previously required hospitals to make publicly available a list of their standard charges or their policies for allowing the public to view this list upon request, CMS has updated its guidelines to specifically require hospitals to post this information on the Internet in a machine-readable format.
You can read the full release at MD Linx.