CMS increases Medicare rates for hospices for fiscal year 2010

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a regulation increasing Medicare payments to hospices by 1.4% for fiscal year 2010.

The payment increase is the net result of a 2.1% increase in the "hospital market basket." It is offset by a 0.7% decrease in payments to hospices due to CMS' revised policy to phase out its wage index budget neutrality factor, CMS said. The market basket is an indicator of annual input price increases.

CMS also proposed a 2.2% home health market basket update to the home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rates for calendar year 2010. It also has proposed modifications to its outlier policy under the HH PPS as part of ongoing efforts to address potential fraud and abuse with regards to outlier payments under the HH PPS.