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Hulshof Pleased With Medicare Change

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Date:
Location: Columbia, MO.


HULSHOF PLEASED WITH MEDICARE CHANGE
Protects Patient Access to Vital Hospital Services

U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) expressed his support of changes to hospital payments announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS). Hulshof recently joined with 188 bipartisan Members of Congress asking for modifications to a rule proposed by CMS changing the way hospitals would be paid for inpatient hospital services provided to Medicare patients. The final rule issued by CMS contains changes in response to the concerns raised by lawmakers.

COLUMBIA, MO. - - U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) expressed his support of changes to hospital payments announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS). Hulshof recently joined with 188 bipartisan Members of Congress asking for modifications to a rule proposed by CMS changing the way hospitals would be paid for inpatient hospital services provided to Medicare patients. The final rule issued by CMS contains changes in response to the concerns raised by lawmakers.

"Patients depend on access to quality hospital services. This is particularly important as it relates to Medicare patients," Hulshof said. "When Medicare does not properly reimburse providers for services rendered, it is ultimately patients who suffer. The initial rule put forward by CMS would have led to underpayments to hospitals. I'm glad that this agency listened to the concerns raised by Congress and modified this payment proposal so that seniors continue to get quality inpatient hospital services."

Under the Medicare program, hospitals are paid for inpatient services on a Prospective Payment System (PPS). This payment provides a set amount based on the procedure performed, which is referred to as a Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs). In response to criticism that the structure of the PPS system was providing an incentive for health care providers to "cherry-pick" procedures that are more profitable, CMS issued rules proposing changes to the inpatient hospital PPS meant to remove these inducements. However, as initially proposed, many hospitals who were not involved in any sort of abusive practices would have been hit with payment reductions.

In response, Congressman Hulshof and 188 bipartisan Members of Congress signed a letter to Mark McClellan, the Administrator of CMS, citing shortcomings in these proposed rules and asking that these concerns be addressed. CMS' final rule contains many changes to address the issues raised by Members of Congress. This will help protect the scope and availability of inpatient services at local hospitals.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Congressman Kenny Hulshof serves on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Medicare program. As a member of this subcommittee, Hulshof is directly involved in the formulation of health policy and oversight of the Medicare program.

http://hulshof.house.gov/news.aspx?A=317

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