On Thursday, April 5, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted unanimously to recommend reduced reimbursement by 30% for off-campus, 24-hour hospital EDs (emergency departments) in urban areas that are located within six miles of an on-campus hospital ED.¹
Freestanding emergency facilities play an important role in a health system’s master facility plans and will continue to be important to long-range strategies for convenience and access. Consumers are migrating to their use and insurers are including them as in-network providers. Reduced reimbursement proposals by MedPAC will likely reduce their profitability, so caution should be taken in choosing locations, designing facilities and operating efficiently. Nonetheless, freestanding EDs will play an important role in a health system’s future. Health system strategists and planners must also be attentive to the evolving landscape around facilities and reimbursement programs targeted toward rural and underserved populations.
Click on the article below for the debate between on campus and off campus EDs: