OIG Wage Index Recommendation Could Affect Hospice Payments

POSTED ON MONDAY, August 17, 2020

According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, CMS should revamp its use of the hospital wage index to determine payments for health care providers. The agency uses the index among other information to “OIG identified significant vulnerabilities in the wage index system for Medicare payments. For instance, CMS lacks authority to penalize hospitals that submit inaccurate or incomplete wage data, and Medicare administrative contractor (MAC)-limited reviews do not always identify inaccurate wage data,” the report indicated. “Additionally, wage indexes may not always accurately reflect local labor prices, thus Medicare payments to hospitals and other providers may not be appropriately adjusted to reflect local labor prices. “calculate hospice per diem paid by Medicare.

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