The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced yesterday that the Medicare Part B premium will increase next year by 3.1% to $96.40 per month, up $2.90. The Medicare Part B annual deductible will increase from $131 to $135 and the Medicare Part A inpatient deductible will increase from $992 to $1,024. (The Medicare Part B premium is now means tested; it is higher for people with taxable incomes over $82,000 for individual files and $164,000 for joint filers. Also the Medicare Part B premium is higher if the Medicare eligible individual fails to enroll at the first opportunity.)
President Bush signed a law over the weekend that will provide hospitals partial relief from a CMS cut in their Medicare reimbursement.
Finally, CMS announced today that it has awarded AHIMA a contract to study the impact of converting the standard diagnostic and inpatient procedure code from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10, which is a big information systems deal for health plans and providers.