CMS: Rehab providers can prepare for 3.1% Medicare hike, or more

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Rural inpatient rehabilitation facilities will see their Medicare payments rise more than 20% effective Oct. 1, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

All inpatient rehabilitation facilities will experience a 3.1% rise in payments, while rurals will get a 19% boost on top of that. Rural providers generally receive fewer cases while incurring higher costs, notes Modern Healthcare magazine.

Notably, new regulations do comment on the  "75% rule," which changes the criteria for which facilities can receive higher Medicare payment. The rule went into effect July 1, drawing protests from hospital lobbyists who said many facilities would have to either shut down or turn away cases that did not fit the mold for higher Medicare payments.

The new rule increased the number of diagnoses covered by Medicare, but providers claim some procedures that have become more common are still left off the list. More than four-fifths of the U.S. Senate and half of the House have signed letters asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson for a 15-month moratorium on the rule.