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Medicare-payment rules for LTC hospitals could bite hard


New Medicare-payment rules for long-term hospitals  set to  begin to take  effect later this year are expected to disrupt the whole industry, But, The Wall Street Journal reports, some Select Medical Holdings Corp.  facilities will face the changes months before hospitals run by some  rivals.

The WSJ reported that the “timing of long-term hospitals’ fiscal-year end will trigger when the new Medicare rules go into effect, which could sharply limit the types of patients that can command the highest payments to the facilities.

“Under the new payment system, long-term hospitals will only be allowed to draw full payments––often much higher than those general hospitals get for treating similar conditions—when treating patients who meet certain criteria. The criteria include those who have spent at least three days in an ICU at a general hospital, or who require prolonged ventilator care. The American Hospital Association has estimated that 47 percent of traditional long-term hospital patients aren’t eligible for full payments under those criteria.”

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