Full RUG-IV may yet take effect this year

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Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
The lame-duck session of Congress might take away road blocks to enactment of the full RUG-IV classification system in 2010, a legislative expert said at the American Health Care Association conference in October.

The House already has passed the Veterans', Seniors', and Children's Health Technical Corrections Act of 2010 (H.R. 5712). The Senate had not taken action as of press time on the bill that would restore implementation of the full RUG-IV system to this year from 2011. An interim RUG-IV system began on Oct. 1. The system refers to therapy groups that correspond with Medicare payment levels. It works in conjunction with MDS 3.0, which took effect Oct. 1.

Also, Congress is expected to pass legislation before the end of the year that would continue the exceptions process for Medicare Part B therapy caps, AHCA's Dave Hebert said. The process is currently set to expire Dec. 31.