Outpatient Hospital Costs Rise, Fee Schedule Delayed

December 15, 2002

Medicare spending for hospital outpatient services will increase by nearly 6 percent in 2003 under a final regulation published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services late in October. However, the new rate schedule will reduce reimbursement of some drugs significantly, including blood products, medical devices, and high-technology procedures that do not require an overnight stay.