CMS cuts outpatient hospital payments, bumps up physician payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued final 2016 payment rules for the hospital outpatient prospective payment and ambulatory surgical center payment systems, as well as the physician payment fee schedule. Under the new rules, the outpatient payment rate would decrease by 0.4 percent, while the physician fee schedule would rise 0.5 percent. The American Hospital Association criticized the cut, which was linked in changes to the way laboratory tests would be paid, and said it was due to faulty math. However, the organization praised the physician payment increase and an inclusion of a payment to discuss end-of-life services. Read more about the final rules at FierceHealthcare