Medicare payments to 1,706 inpatient psychiatric facilities will increase by $87 million over the next year, under a proposed rule issued by the CMS.

The rule making, which proposes an overall payment update of 2% for these facilities, is applicable to all inpatient psychiatric discharges that take place from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010. The update, however, varies according to hospital type: urban facilities for example will experience an update of 1.9%, as opposed to rural facilities, whose update is projected at 2%.

By region, Pacific-area psychiatric facilities will see an update of 3.4% compared with New England (2.1%) and the Mid-Atlantic (1.4%). Medicare does not anticipate changes in the quality of care or access to services by Medicare beneficiaries under this rulemaking. — by Jennifer Lubell

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