Noteworthy News

Institute of Medicine’s Medicare Wage Index Recommendations

iStock_000014445371XSmallOn Wednesday, June 1, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its recommendations for changes in the Medicare area wage index system.  Read about the IOM’s report here and find the report itself here.

From the perspective of urban safety-net hospitals, the recommendations appear to be bad news.  The IOM recommends using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine labor costs – the absolutely worst possible source, in NAUH’s view.  It also proposes a single, nation-wide occupational mix that would be highly disadvantageous for most tertiary-care hospitals, academic medical centers, and other hospitals that provide services that most hospitals do not provide and that employ specialists that most hospitals do not employ.  In January, NAUH submitted testimony to the IOM about the Medicare area wage index and possible changes to that system.  Read NAUH’s testimony here.

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