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By MATTHEW HAY
HHBR Washington Correspondent
BALTIMORE The Health Care Financing Admin is tration (HCFA; Baltimore) published the interim payment system cost limits for FY2000 in the Federal Register last week. These schedules of limitations, published August 5, are effective for cost reporting periods beginning on or after Oct. 1, 1999, until a home health prospective payment system is implemented.
Per-beneficiary limits will increase a modest 1.7%. The limits were determined based on "old" or "new" agencies. Old agencies are considered to be those with a full 12-month cost report from FY94. For new agencies whose first cost reporting period begins in FY99, the per-beneficiary limit will be equal to 75% of the national per-beneficiary limit. New agencies with a cost reporting period prior to Oct. 1, 1998, will receive the national median adjusted by the area wage index.
The notice also includes a modest 13-cent increase in per-visit costs to offset costs associated with the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS).
HCFA predicts that 79% of all agencies will exceed per-beneficiary limits by an average of 12%. The agency predicts that 86% of all freestanding agencies will exceed per-beneficiary limits by 14% and that 64% of hospital-based agencies will exceed per-beneficiary limits by 9%.
The agency also estimates that Medicare will pay an additional $40 million in FY2000 based on cost report data the agency used that were adjusted by the most recent market basket factors.