GAO looks at DRG changes, exec compensation

The Government Accountability Office issued two hospital-related reports Friday. The first praises proposed changes in Medicare reimbursement for hospitals. The second says large not-for-profit hospital systems are doing better at overseeing executive compensation. CMS is considering adjusting inpatient DRG payments using national average cost-to-charge ratios, rather than basing them strictly on cost data as is done for outpatient payments, a strategy that the GAO says makes sense. CMS's final regulations on the new DRG system are due out tomorrow. For executive compensation oversight, GAO found that a sample of hospital system had conflict-of-interest guidelines in place and relied on market data in setting compensation, but there was a wide range of practices in determining perks and reimbursement of travel expenses.

To read get the GAO's perspective:
- check out this Modern Healthcare report