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Hospitals will get a 2.3% payment hike effective Jan. 1 under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule for 2002 outpatient prospective payment system (PPS) rates, published in August. CMS administrator Tom Scully said the rule would achieve the goal of making appropriate reimbursement payments given the ongoing shift of services from the inpatient to outpatient setting, according to AHA News. While the rule outlines possible approaches for CMS in estimating payments for hospitals’ use of pass-through devices, drugs, and biological products in outpatient services, it makes no actual estimate. Congress required Medicare to make such payments temporarily, and capped them at 2.5% of the estimated overall amount paid under the outpatient PPS. Currently, should the estimate exceed the cap, an across-the-board cut on all pass-through payments would be required. The proposed rule can be viewed at www.hcfa.gov/regs/propcy2002.htm.