Hospitals to receive CMS rate increase in 2008
The majority of U.S. hospitals will get a rate increase next year from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to cover their costs of goods and services to furnish inpatient services to Medicare beneficiaries.

Hospitals that participated in the “reporting hospital quality data for annual payment update” (RHQDAPU) program and voluntarily reported data to CMS about the quality of the care provided to Medicare beneficiaries will receive the full rate increase of 3.3 percent, according to an announcement by Kerry Weems, acting CMS administrator.

The reporting of hospital quality data under the RHQDAPU program is an effort to transform Medicare from a passive payor of healthcare services to a prudent purchaser of high quality care for people with Medicare, CMS said. 

CMS said that hospitals not participating or not meeting the requirements for reporting the quality measures will receive a 1.3 percent rate increase under the inpatient prospective payment system, but a 2 percentage reduction for 2008, under Section 5001(a)(2) of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. 
Hospitals will also be required to report on 27 quality measures, (including 24 processes of care measures for discharges on or after Jan. 1, 2008), mortality data, as well as data collected from patient surveys about the care they received during their stay.
Of the 3,506 acute care hospitals eligible to participate in the RHQDAPU program this year, 93 percent participated and met requirements; 6 percent failed to meet requirements; and 1 percent chose not to participate.

Hospitals that did not meet program requirements may submit a letter to CMS outlining reasons for requesting reconsideration by Nov. 1.