CMS issues 2014 hospital outpatient and ASC payment rule

Hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers will have the ability to lower per-case outpatient facility costs under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' calendar year 2014 hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical center payment rule. Under the rule, CMS will also replace all five levels of hospital clinic visit codes for both new and established patients with a single code describing all outpatient clinic visits. The final rule increases overall payments for hospital outpatient departments by an estimated 1.7 percent. The rule also updates partial hospitalization payment rates for hospitals and community mental health centers. The final rule with comment period will appear in the Dec. 10 Federal Register. Comments are due Jan. 27, 2014. Announcement