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Reimbursement Issues Continue to Shape Agenda for 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012  
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In one of the first decisions for what is expected to be a uniquely challenging year for reimbursement policies, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended that Medicare payments for hospital inpatient and outpatient care in fiscal 2013 be increased by 1 percent.

The commission also voted to recommend that Medicare lower payments to hospital outpatient departments for evaluation and management services so that they are equal to the reimbursements for those services when they are provided in a doctor's office.

According to MedPAC projections, the profit margins hospitals have on Medicare patients will drop from a negative 4.5 percent in 2010 to negative seven percent in 2012.

In addition, Congress announced this week that a conference committee will meet later this month to begin negotiations on a long term solution for the "doc fix," or SGR. A two month extension of current reimbursement was passed in December.

MDMA's Reimbursement Working Group continues to coordinate member efforts to address the issues and challenges facing medical technology innovators.