Hospital OPPS receives 4.5% rate increase

Medicare has published a rule for hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) services that will increase rates in the aggregate by 4.5%, according to an initial analysis by the American Hospital Association. The rule was published in the Nov. 7 Federal Register and takes effect Jan. 1.

The changes omit a prorated reduction in pass-through rates for new technology drugs and devices, create two outlier thresholds and two outlier payment pools, and lower the threshold used to determine when drugs are paid separately from $150 to $50, the association said.

In its proposed rule, the agency had projected a 3.8% aggregate increase.

To access the rule, go to: www.cms.gov/regulations/hopps/2004f/.