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N.J. Hospitals Face $97 Million in Medicare Cuts
Date:5/22/2009

Impact of New Payment Rule Could Reach $500 Million by 2014

PRINCETON, N.J., May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Jersey hospitals stand to lose $97 million in federal funds next year and more than $500 million over the next five years under new Medicare payment rules proposed to take effect in October, according to an analysis by the New Jersey Hospital Association.

NJHA's Health Economics department examined the impact of three provisions under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' 2010 inpatient prospective payment proposed rule, which sets Medicare payment policies. The proposed rule was released May 1 and is slated to be finalized Aug. 1. It would take effect Oct. 1, the start of the federal fiscal year.

"This is more devastating financial news for hospitals in our state," said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan. "New Jersey already has seen nine hospitals close in the last two years, and more will surely follow if we continue to chop away at the payments they receive for taking care of patients."

The proposed rule makes several changes, including two so-called "behavioral offsets" which reduce payments to hospitals to adjust for variables in coding and classification of claims and another that would eliminate capital funds distributed under the graduate medical education (GME) system. The GME program provides funding to teaching hospitals to help cover the added costs of training new physicians.

NJHA analyzed the impact each provision would have on the state's hospitals:

  • Under the "operating behavioral offset," New Jersey hospitals would see their annual "market basket" adjustment -- similar to an inflation adjustment -- cut from 2.1 percent to 0.2 percent. This change would equal a $77 million loss for New Jersey hospitals next year and a total of $409 million over the next five years.
  • The "capital behavi
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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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