Western PA hospitals battle for Medicare hike

A group of 34 western Pennsylvania hospitals is fighting to get a boost in Medicare reimbursement, arguing that the formula the government uses doesn't properly account for their expenses. The hospitals, which retained two accounting firms to examine hospital wage and benefit data, concluded that the current Medicare formula doesn't take into account the cost of funding employee pensions. Once that and other adjustments are made, hospitals should be getting $13 million more per year starting in October of this year, according to the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania. The hospital has until June of this year to pursue this appeal, which goes through CMS contractor Highmark Medicare Services; if they lose, they can appeal directly to Medicare.

To find out more about this dispute:
- read this Pittsburgh Business Times piece

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