July 8, 2013 / 11:13 PM / 5 years ago

Medicare plan would increase rates for hospital outpatient care

July 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. government agency in charge of health insurance for seniors on Monday proposed a 1.8 percent rate increase for hospital outpatient departments in fiscal 2014, as it moves to rein in reimbursements relative to rising costs.

The proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is in line with expectations, UBS analyst A.J. Rice said in a note to clients. Reimbursement for outpatient services represents about 20 percent of a typical hospital’s total Medicare payments, Rice said.

However, hospital systems are increasingly moving more of their services to outpatient from inpatient care.

CMS said it will accept comments on the proposed rule until Sept. 6 and will respond with a final rule by Nov. 1.

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