Medicare Payment Changes Garner Approval of FQHC Advocates

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , May 6, 2014

Under the proposed prospective payment scheme, Medicare will pay Federally Qualified Health Centers a single encounter rate per beneficiary per day for all services provided, with some exceptions.

Community health advocates are applauding the federal government's newly announced plan to boost Medicare payments to Federally Qualified Health Centers by as much as 32%.

"Generally we are very pleased with it," says Dan Hawkins, senior vice president of policy at the National Association of Community Health Centers.

"CMS clearly sees this as a fair payment for the comprehensive services that health centers provide to Medicare beneficiaries and they are aware that this new PPS system they are proposing is very similar to the PPS under which health centers are paid under Medicaid."

CMS Releases 2015 IPPS Proposal

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently issued the final rule for the new Medicare prospective payment scheme that was outlined under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which mandates consideration of factors such as the type, intensity, and duration of services provided in these settings. The new payment system will be implemented on Oct. 1, and FQHCs will transition to it throughout 2015, CMS said.

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