In 2017 hospitals will face reimbursement reductions for hospital outpatient departments which are located off-campus. Current reimbursements are at the HOPD rate but will shift to the ambulatory surgery center rates per the physician fee schedule. Some consideration will be made for existing facilities which will be grandfathered into the old rates. New hospital outpatient departments which are off campus risk receiving lower rates.
Congress continues to work on the details of the new legislation in order to properly clarify which facilities will be subject to the new rates and which can continue to bill at hospital outpatient rates. This is a critical issue for hospitals which are looking to grow and expand beyond the four walls the hospital. Many in the hospital industry have said that this will slow the pace of integration and ACO formation, as it makes it less financially feasible for hospitals to expand and prepare for value based purchasing. Additional details to follow and Congress continues to work on details of the site-neutral payments.1