The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) proposed rule for 2012, which will impact Medicare reimbursements to more than 4,000 hospital outpatient facilities.

The proposed rule, which is scheduled to be published in the July 18 Federal Register, would increase such payments to about $41.9 billion – an increase of 1.5 percent. It also contains reporting measures to promote better quality and more efficiency in services. Specifically, the rule would add nine quality measures to the current roster of 23 quality measures that must be reported by a hospital’s outpatient department.

Comments on the proposed OPPS rule must be submitted to CMS by August 30, and the final rule is expected to be issued by November 1. Changes will go into effect on January 1, 2012.