Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, acute care hospitals that report certain quality data can receive increased reimbursement rates for inpatient services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently issued a final rule, on August 1, 2006, permitting acute care hospitals to receive, on average, a 3.5% increase in reimbursement rates for reporting quality data.
Hospitals are not required to report this quality data; however, they are not eligible for any additional increase unless they do so. If they do report this data, they need to be sure of its accuracy. Because reporting of the data will result in increased reimbursement, failure to report correct data can lead to a fraud and abuse issue.