MAY 13, 2004 - Posted at 7:36 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Proposed changes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could raise federal Medicare reimbursements to rural Arkansas hospitals by $22.4 million.
The federal agency would be allowed to update labor market data so that rural hospitals receive greater payment increases than those in urban areas.
If adopted after a 30-day review period, the main rule changes would increase financial relief to rural hospitals and tie reimbursements to quality of care.
For the first time, hospitals will receive additional payments if they report and meet standards for quality of care.
The proposed rules would follow the language of Medicare reform legislation passed in December.