Health Care Reform Advisory: Health Reform Implementation Moves Forward Despite Continued Opposition

Over the past couple of weeks, the federal government has continued with its plans to implement the new health care reform law in the face of continued opposition and new developments in the pending lawsuits challenging the new law. On Friday July 30th, despite heavy opposition from Congress, industry groups, and patient advocates, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would stick to a proposed regulation requiring a 2.9% reduction in Medicare inpatient payment rates to begin correcting what the agency claimed were previous overpayments to hospitals. In the past, CMS has often modified or eliminated contentious plans to reduce rates, so the decision to stick to the proposed regulation was perceived as a powerful message that the Obama administration intends to fully implement the law.

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