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Hospitals' Compliance with Medicare's Transfer Policy With the Resumption of Home Health Services and the Use of Condition Codes

Medicare payments to acute care hospitals for inpatient stays under Medicare Part A are made on the basis of prospectively set rates. Normally, Medicare pays a hospital discharging a beneficiary the full amount for the corresponding diagnosis-related group (DRG). In contrast, a hospital that transfers a beneficiary to another facility or to home health services is paid a graduated per diem rate, not to exceed the full DRG payment. When transferring a patient to home health services, the hospital can apply specific condition codes to the claim and receive the full DRG payment. The hospital is responsible for coding the bill on the basis of its discharge plan for the patient or adjusting the claim if it finds out that the patient received postacute care after the discharge. We will determine whether Medicare appropriately paid hospitals' inpatient claims subject to the postacute care transfer policy when (1) patients resumed home health services after discharge or (2) hospitals applied condition codes to claims to receive a full DRG payment.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
August 2018 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospitals' Compliance with Medicare's Transfer Policy With the Resumption of Home Health Services and the Use of Condition Codes Office of Audit Services W-00-18-35815 2019