Hospital-owned urgent care centers—many of which became “hospital-owned” thanks to a relatively generous 50% reimbursement rate for off-campus patient visits—may be taking a substantial hit if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services follows through on a plan to cut that rate by half. Hospital administrators say even though running off-campus clinics increases their operating budgets, they enable health systems to offer more patients access to cost-effective care. On the other hand, the Trump administration predicts cutting the pay rate to 25% could save the system as much as $25 million next year. If the plan takes effect, it’s most likely to affect services such as pain management, some x-rays, radiation therapies, and some behavioral health services—not all of which are urgent care-centric. Comments on the proposed rule change are due by Sept. 11.
CMS May Cut Payments for Off-Campus Hospital Visits by Half