CMS proposes 2.6% funding hike for long-term care hospitals

Share this content:

Long-term care hospitals may see a bigger than expected bump in their payment rate in 2009, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  On Tuesday, CMS proposed increasing the payment rate by 2.6%, which would push total funding for LTACs past $4.4 billion. It also would be a full percentage point higher than what was recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

The new payment rate would take effect on July 1 of this year, though officials are also seeking to change the annual update year's start to Oct. 1. Such a change would make the next rate change valid from July 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2009. 

About 400 long-term care hospitals nationwide, including those operated by prominent long-term care operators, would receive the increased funding.