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Notice

Medicare Program; Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Prospective Payment System Payment Update for Rate Year Beginning July 1, 2008 (RY 2009)

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 25709

AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice updates the prospective payment rates for Medicare inpatient psychiatric hospital services provided by inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs). These changes are applicable to IPF discharges occurring during the rate year beginning July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009.

DATES:

Effective Date: The updated IPF prospective payment rates are effective for discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dorothy Myrick or Jana Lindquist, (410) 786-4533 (for general information).

Heidi Oumarou, (410) 786-7942 (for information regarding the market basket and labor-related share).

Theresa Bean, (410) 786-2287 (for information regarding the regulatory impact analysis).

Matthew Quarrick, (410) 786-9867 (for information on the wage index).

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

To assist readers in referencing sections contained in this document, we are providing the following table of contents.

I. Background.

A. Annual Requirements for Updating the IPF PPS.

B. Overview of the Legislative Requirements of the IPF PPS.

C. IPF PPS-General Overview.

II. Transition Period for Implementation of the IPF PPS.

III. Updates to the IPF PPS for RY Beginning July 1, 2008.

A. Determining the Standardized Budget-Neutral Federal Per Diem Base Rate.

1. Standardization of the Federal Per Diem Base Rate and Electroconvulsive Therapy Rate.

2. Calculation of the Budget Neutrality Adjustment.

a. Outlier Adjustment.

b. Stop-Loss Provision Adjustment.

c. Behavioral Offset.

B. Update of the Federal Per Diem Base Rate and Electroconvulsive Therapy Rate.

1. Market Basket for IPFs Reimbursed Under the IPF PPS.

a. Market Basket Index for the IPF PPS.

b. Overview of the RPL Market Basket.

2. Labor-Related Share.

3. IPFs Paid Based on a Blend of the Reasonable Cost-based Payments.

IV. Update of the IPF PPS Adjustment Factors.

A. Overview of the IPF PPS Adjustment Factors.

B. Patient-Level Adjustments.

1. Adjustment for MS-DRG Assignment.

2. Payment for Comorbid Conditions.

3. Patient Age Adjustments.

4. Variable Per Diem Adjustments.

C. Facility-Level Adjustments.

1. Wage Index Adjustment.

a. Clarification of New England Deemed Counties.

b. Multi-campus-Wage Index Data Collection.

c. OMB Bulletins.

2. Adjustment for Rural Location.

3. Teaching Adjustment.

4. Cost of Living Adjustment for IPFs Located in Alaska and Hawaii.

5. Adjustment for IPFs With a Qualifying Emergency Department (ED).

D. Other Payment Adjustments and Policies.

1. Outlier Payments.

a. Update to the Outlier Fixed Dollar Loss Threshold Amount.

b. Statistical Accuracy of Cost-to-Charge Ratios.

2. Stop-Loss Provision.

V. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking.

VI. Collection of Information Requirements.

VII. Regulatory Impact Analysis.

Addenda.

Acronyms

Because of the many terms to which we refer by acronym in this notice, we are listing the acronyms used and their corresponding terms in alphabetical order below:

BBRA Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP [State Children's Health Insurance Program] Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999, (Pub. L. 106-113).

CBSA Core-Based Statistical Area.

CCR Cost-to-charge ratio.

CMSA Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area.

DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition—Text Revision.

DRGs Diagnosis-related groups.

FY Federal fiscal year.

ICD-9-CM International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification.

IPFs Inpatient psychiatric facilities.

IRFs Inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

LTCHs Long-term care hospitals.

MedPAR Medicare provider analysis and review file.

MSA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

RY Rate Year.

TEFRA Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, (Pub. L. 97-248).

I. Background

A. Annual Requirements for Updating the IPF PPS

In November 2004, we implemented the IPF PPS in a final rule that appeared in the November 15, 2004 Federal Register (69 FR 66922). In developing the IPF PPS, in order to ensure that the IPF PPS is able to account adequately for each IPF's case-mix, we performed an extensive regression analysis of the relationship between the per diem costs and certain patient and facility characteristics to determine those characteristics associated with statistically significant cost differences on a per diem basis. For characteristics with statistically significant cost differences, we used the regression coefficients of those variables to determine the size of the corresponding payment adjustments.

In that final rule, we explained that we believe it is important to delay updating the adjustment factors derived from the regression analysis until we have IPF PPS data that includes as much information as possible regarding the patient-level characteristics of the population that each IPF serves. Therefore, we indicated that we did not intend to update the regression analysis and recalculate the Federal per diem base rate and the patient- and facility-level adjustments until we complete that analysis. Until that analysis is complete, we stated our intention to publish a notice in the Federal Register each spring to update the IPF PPS (71 FR 27041).

Updates to the IPF PPS as specified in 42 CFR 412.428 include the following:

  • A description of the methodology and data used to calculate the updated Federal per diem base payment amount.
  • The rate of increase factor as described in § 412.424(a)(2)(iii), which is based on the excluded hospital with capital market basket under the update methodology of section 1886(b)(3)(B)(ii) of the Act for each year.
  • For discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2006, the rate of increase factor for the Federal portion of the IPF's payment, which is based on the rehabilitation, psychiatric, and long-term care (RPL) market basket.
  • For discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2005, the rate of increase factor for the reasonable cost portion of the IPF's payment, which is based on the 2002-based excluded hospital market basket.
  • The best available hospital wage index and information regarding Start Printed Page 25710whether an adjustment to the Federal per diem base rate, is needed to maintain budget neutrality.
  • Updates to the fixed dollar loss threshold amount in order to maintain the appropriate outlier percentage.
  • Description of the ICD-9-CM coding and DRG classification changes discussed in the annual update to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) regulations.
  • Update to the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) payment by a factor specified by CMS.
  • Update to the national urban and rural cost-to-charge ratio medians and ceilings.
  • Update to the cost of living adjustment factors for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii, if appropriate.

Our most recent annual update occurred in the May 2007 IPF PPS notice (72 FR 25602) that set forth updates to the IPF PPS payment rates for RY 2008.

This notice does not initiate any policy changes with regard to the IPF PPS; rather, it simply provides an update to the rates for RY 2009 (that is, the prospective payment rates applicable for discharges beginning July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009). In establishing these payment rates, we update the IPF per diem payment rates that were published in the May 2007 IPF PPS notice in accordance with our established policies.

B. Overview of the Legislative Requirements for the IPF PPS

Section 124 of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999, (Pub. L. 106-113) (BBRA) required implementation of the IPF PPS. Specifically, section 124 of the BBRA mandated that the Secretary develop a per diem PPS for inpatient hospital services furnished in psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units that includes an adequate patient classification system that reflects the differences in patient resource use and costs among psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units.

Section 405(g)(2) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) (Pub. L. 108-173) extended the IPF PPS to distinct part psychiatric units of critical access hospitals (CAHs).

To implement these provisions, we published various proposed and final rules in the Federal Register. For more information regarding these rules, see the CMS Web sites http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​InpatientPsychFacilPPS/​ and http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​InpatientpsychfacilPPS/​02_​regulations.asp.

C. IPF PPS—General Overview

The November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66922) established the IPF PPS, as authorized under section 124 of the BBRA and codified at subpart N of part 412 of the Medicare regulations. The November 2004 IPF PPS final rule set forth the per diem Federal rates for the implementation year (that is, the 18-month period from January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006) that provided payment for the inpatient operating and capital costs to IPFs for covered psychiatric services they furnish (that is, routine, ancillary, and capital costs), but not costs of approved educational activities, bad debts, and other services or items that are outside the scope of the IPF PPS. Covered psychiatric services include services for which benefits are provided under the fee-for-service Part A (Hospital Insurance Program) Medicare program.

The IPF PPS established the Federal per diem base rate for each patient day in an IPF derived from the national average daily routine operating, ancillary, and capital costs in IPFs in FY 2002. The average per diem cost was updated to the midpoint of the first year under the IPF PPS, standardized to account for the overall positive effects of the IPF PPS payment adjustments, and adjusted for budget neutrality.

The Federal per diem payment under the IPF PPS is comprised of the Federal per diem base rate described above and certain patient- and facility-level payment adjustments that were found in the regression analysis to be associated with statistically significant per diem cost differences.

The patient-level adjustments include age, DRG assignment, comorbidities, and variable per diem adjustments to reflect higher per diem costs in the early days of an IPF stay. Facility-level adjustments include adjustments for the IPF's wage index, rural location, teaching status, a cost of living adjustment for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii, and presence of a qualifying emergency department (ED).

The IPF PPS provides additional payments for: Outlier cases; stop-loss protection (which is applicable only during the IPF PPS transition period); interrupted stays; and a per treatment adjustment for patients who undergo ECT.

A complete discussion of the regression analysis appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66933 through 66936).

Section 124 of BBRA does not specify an annual update rate strategy for the IPF PPS and is broadly written to give the Secretary discretion in establishing an update methodology. Therefore, in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66966), we implemented the IPF PPS using the following update strategy—(1) calculate the final Federal per diem base rate to be budget neutral for the 18-month period of January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006; (2) use a July 1 through June 30 annual update cycle; and (3) allow the IPF PPS first update to be effective for discharges on or after July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.

II. Transition Period for Implementation of the IPF PPS

In the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we established § 412.426 to provide for a 3-year transition period from reasonable cost-based reimbursement to full prospective payment for IPFs. The purpose of the transition period is to allow existing IPFs time to adjust their cost structures and to integrate the effects of changing to the IPF PPS.

New IPFs, as defined in § 412.426(c), are paid 100 percent of the Federal per diem payment amount. For those IPFs that are transitioning to the new system, payment is based on an increasing percentage of the PPS payment and a decreasing percentage of each IPF's facility-specific Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) reimbursement rate.

Table 1.—IPF PPS Transition Blend Factors

Transition YearCost reporting periods beginning on or afterTEFRA rate percentageIPF PPS federal rate percentage
1January 1, 20057525
2January 1, 20065050
3January 1, 20072575
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January 1, 20080100

Changes to the blend percentages occur at the beginning of an IPF's cost reporting period. However, regardless of when an IPF's cost reporting year begins, the payment update will be effective for discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. IPFs with cost reporting periods beginning January 1, 2008 will have completed the transition period and will receive 100 percent IPF PPS payments. Other IPFs with cost reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2008, during 2008, will also begin to receive 100 percent IPF PPS payments. This means that beginning January 1, 2009, all IPFs will receive 100 percent IPF PPS payments and the IPF PPS transition period will have ended.

For RY 2009, the transition period established in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule will no longer be applied.

III. Updates to the IPF PPS for RY Beginning July 1, 2008

The Federal per diem base rate is used as the standard payment per day under the IPF PPS and is adjusted by the applicable wage index factor and the patient- and facility-level adjustments that are applicable to the IPF stay. A detailed explanation of how we calculated the average per diem cost appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66926).

A. Determining the Standardized Budget-Neutral Federal Per Diem Base Rate

Section 124(a)(1) of the BBRA requires that we implement the IPF PPS in a budget neutral manner. In other words, the amount of total payments under the IPF PPS, including any payment adjustments, must be projected to be equal to the amount of total payments that would have been made if the IPF PPS were not implemented. Therefore, we calculated the budget-neutrality factor by setting the total estimated IPF PPS payments to be equal to the total estimated payments that would have been made under the TEFRA methodology had the IPF PPS not been implemented.

Under the IPF PPS methodology, we calculated the final Federal per diem base rate to be budget neutral during the IPF PPS implementation period (that is, the 18-month period from January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006) using a July 1 update cycle. We updated the average cost per day to the midpoint of the IPF PPS implementation period (that is, October 1, 2005), and this amount was used in the payment model to establish the budget-neutrality adjustment.

A step-by-step description of the methodology used to estimate payments under the TEFRA payment system appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66926).

1. Standardization of the Federal Per Diem Base Rate and Electroconvulsive Therapy Rate

In the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we describe how we standardized the IPF PPS Federal per diem base rate in order to account for the overall positive effects of the IPF PPS payment adjustment factors. To standardize the IPF PPS payments, we compared the IPF PPS payment amounts calculated from the FY 2002 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) file to the projected TEFRA payments from the FY 2002 cost report file updated to the midpoint of the IPF PPS implementation period (that is, October 2005). The standardization factor was calculated by dividing total estimated payments under the TEFRA payment system by estimated payments under the IPF PPS. The standardization factor was calculated to be 0.8367.

As described in detail in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27045), in reviewing the methodology used to simulate the IPF PPS payments used for the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we discovered that due to a computer code error, total IPF PPS payments were underestimated by about 1.36 percent. Since the IPF PPS payment total should have been larger than the estimated figure, the standardization factor should have been smaller (0.8254 vs. 0.8367). In turn, the Federal per diem base rate and the ECT rate should have been reduced by 0.8254 instead of 0.8367.

To resolve this issue, in RY 2007, we amended the Federal per diem base rate and the ECT payment rate prospectively. Using the standardization factor of 0.8254, the average cost per day was effectively reduced by 17.46 percent (100 percent minus 82.54 percent = 17.46 percent).

2. Calculation of the Budget Neutrality Adjustment

To compute the budget neutrality adjustment for the IPF PPS, we separately identified each component of the adjustment, that is, the outlier adjustment, stop-loss adjustment, and behavioral offset.

A complete discussion of how we calculate each component of the budget neutrality adjustment appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66932 through 66933) and in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27044 through 27046).

a. Outlier Adjustment

Since the IPF PPS payment amount for each IPF includes applicable outlier amounts, we reduced the standardized Federal per diem base rate to account for aggregate IPF PPS payments estimated to be made as outlier payments. The outlier adjustment was calculated to be 2 percent. As a result, the standardized Federal per diem base rate was reduced by 2 percent to account for projected outlier payments.

b. Stop-Loss Provision Adjustment

As explained in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we provided a stop-loss payment during the transition from cost-based reimbursement to the per diem payment system to ensure that an IPF's total PPS payments were no less than a minimum percentage of their TEFRA payment, had the IPF PPS not been implemented. We reduced the standardized Federal per diem base rate by the percentage of aggregate IPF PPS payments estimated to be made for stop-loss payments. As a result, the standardized Federal per diem base rate was reduced by 0.39 percent to account for stop-loss payments. Since the transition will be completed for RY 2009, for cost reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2008, IPFs will be paid 100 percent PPS and, therefore, the stop loss provision will no longer be applicable. We indicated in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule that we would remove this 0.39 percent adjustment to the Federal per diem base rate after the transition (69 FR 66932). Therefore, for RY 2009, the Federal per diem base rate and ECT rates will be increased by 0.39 percent. Start Printed Page 25712

c. Behavioral Offset

As explained in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, implementation of the IPF PPS may result in certain changes in IPF practices especially with respect to coding for comorbid medical conditions. As a result, Medicare may make higher payments than assumed in our calculations. Accounting for these effects through an adjustment is commonly known as a behavioral offset.

Based on accepted actuarial practices and consistent with the assumptions made in other PPSs, we assumed in determining the behavioral offset that IPFs would regain 15 percent of potential “losses” and augment payment increases by 5 percent. We applied this actuarial assumption, which is based on our historical experience with new payment systems, to the estimated “losses” and “gains” among the IPFs. The behavioral offset for the IPF PPS was calculated to be 2.66 percent. As a result, we reduced the standardized Federal per diem base rate by 2.66 percent to account for behavioral changes. As indicated in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we do not plan to change adjustment factors or projections, including the behavioral offset, until we analyze IPF PPS data. At that time, we will re-assess the accuracy of the behavioral offset along with the other factors impacting budget neutrality.

If we find that an adjustment is warranted, the percent difference may be applied prospectively to the established PPS rates to ensure the rates accurately reflect the payment level intended by the statute. In conducting this analysis, we will be interested in the extent to which improved documentation and coding of patients' principal and other diagnoses, which may not reflect real increases in underlying resource demands, has occurred under the PPS.

B. Update of the Federal Per Diem Base Rate and Electroconvulsive Therapy Rate

1. Market Basket for IPFs Reimbursed Under the IPF PPS

As described in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, the average per diem cost was updated to the midpoint of the implementation year (69 FR 66931). This updated average per diem cost of $724.43 was reduced by 17.46 percent to account for standardization to projected TEFRA payments for the implementation period, by 2 percent to account for outlier payments, by 0.39 percent to account for stop-loss payments, and by 2.66 percent to account for the behavioral offset. The Federal per diem base rate in the implementation year was $575.95, the per diem base rate for RY 2007 was $595.09, and the per diem base rate for RY 2008 was $614.99.

Applying the market basket increase of 3.2 percent, the stop-loss adjustment of 0.39 percent, and the wage index budget neutrality factor of 1.0010 yields a Federal per diem base rate of $637.78 for RY 2009. Similarly, applying the market basket increase, stop-loss adjustment, and wage index budget neutrality factor to the RY 2008 ECT rate yields an ECT rate of $274.58 for RY 2009.

a. Market Basket Index for the IPF PPS

The market basket index that was used to develop the IPF PPS was the excluded hospital with capital market basket. The market basket was based on 1997 Medicare cost report data and included data for Medicare participating IPFs, inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), cancer, and children's hospitals.

We are presently unable to create a separate market basket specifically for psychiatric hospitals due to the following two reasons: (1) There is a very small sample size for free-standing psychiatric facilities; and (2) there are limited expense data for some categories on the free-standing psychiatric cost reports (for example, approximately 4 percent of free-standing psychiatric facilities reported contract labor cost data for FY 2002). However, since all IRFs, LTCHs, and IPFs are now paid under a PPS, we are updating PPS payments made under the IRF PPS, the IPF PPS, and the LTCH PPS, using a market basket reflecting the operating and capital cost structures for IRFs, IPFs, and LTCHs (hereafter referred to as the rehabilitation, psychiatric, long-term care (RPL) market basket).

We have excluded cancer and children's hospitals from the RPL market basket because their payments are based entirely on reasonable costs subject to rate-of-increase limits established under the authority of section 1886(b) of the Act, which are implemented in regulations at § 413.40. They are not reimbursed under a PPS. Also, the FY 2002 cost structures for cancer and children's hospitals are noticeably different than the cost structures of the IRFs, IPFs, and LTCHs.

The services offered in IRFs, IPFs, and LTCHs are typically more labor-intensive than those offered in cancer and children's hospitals. Therefore, the compensation cost weights for IRFs, IPFs, and LTCHs are larger than those in cancer and children's hospitals. In addition, the depreciation cost weights for IRFs, IPFs, and LTCHs are noticeably smaller than those for cancer and children's hospitals.

A complete discussion of the RPL market basket appears in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27046 through 27054).

b. Overview of the RPL Market Basket

The RPL market basket is a fixed weight, Laspeyres-type price index. A market basket is described as a fixed-weight index because it answers the question of how much it would cost, at another time, to purchase the same mix of goods and services purchased to provide hospital services in a base period. The effects on total expenditures resulting from changes in the quantity or mix of goods and services (intensity) purchased subsequent to the base period are not measured. In this manner, the market basket measures only pure price change. Only when the index is rebased would the quantity and intensity effects be captured in the cost weights. Therefore, we rebase the market basket periodically so that cost weights reflect changes in the mix of goods and services that hospitals purchase (hospital inputs) to furnish patient care between base periods.

The terms rebasing and revising, while often used interchangeably, actually denote different activities. Rebasing means moving the base year for the structure of costs of an input price index (for example, shifting the base year cost structure from FY 1997 to FY 2002). Revising means changing data sources, methodology, or price proxies used in the input price index. In 2006, we rebased and revised the market basket used to update the IPF PPS. Table 2 below sets forth the completed FY 2002-based RPL market basket including the cost categories, weights, and price proxies. Start Printed Page 25713

 Table 2.—FY 2002-Based RPL Market Basket Cost Categories, Weights, and Proxies

Expense categoriesFY 2002-based RPL market basket cost weightFY 2002-based RPL market basket price proxies
TOTAL100.000
Compensation65.877
Wages and Salaries *52.895ECI-Wages and Salaries, Civilian Hospital Workers.
Employee Benefits *12.982ECI-Benefits, Civilian Hospital Workers.
Professional Fees, Non-Medical 1A*2.892ECI-Compensation for Professional & Related occupations.
Utilities0.656
Electricity0.351PPI-Commercial Electric Power.
Fuel Oil, Coal, etc.0.108PPI-Commercial Natural Gas.
Water and Sewage0.197CPI-U—Water & Sewage Maintenance.
Professional Liability Insurance1.161CMS Professional Liability Premium Index.
All Other Products and Services19.265
All Other Products13.323
Pharmaceuticals5.103PPI Prescription Drugs.
Food: Direct Purchases0.873PPI Processed Foods & Feeds.
Food: Contract Service0.620CPI-U Food Away From Home.
Chemicals1.100PPI Industrial Chemicals.
Medical Instruments1.014PPI Medical Instruments & Equipment.
Photographic Supplies0.096PPI Photographic Supplies.
Rubber and Plastics1.052PPI Rubber & Plastic Products.
Paper Products1.000PPI Converted Paper & Paperboard Products.
Apparel0.207PPI Apparel.
Machinery and Equipment0.297PPI Machinery & Equipment.
Miscellaneous Products **1.963PPI Finished Goods less Food & Energy.
All Other Services5.942
Telephone0.240CPI-U Telephone Services.
Postage0.682CPI-U Postage.
All Other: Labor Intensive *2.219ECI-Compensation for Private Service Occupations.
All Other: Non-labor Intensive2.800CPI-U All Items.
Capital-Related Costs ***10.149
Depreciation6.186
Fixed Assets4.250Boeckh Institutional Construction 23-year useful life.
Movable Equipment1.937WPI Machinery & Equipment 11-year useful life.
Interest Costs2.775
Nonprofit2.081Average yield on domestic municipal bonds (Bond Buyer 20 bonds) vintage-weighted (23 years).
For Profit0.694Average yield on Moody's Aaa bond vintage-weighted (23 years).
Other Capital-Related Costs1.187CPI-U Residential Rent.
* Labor-related.
** Blood and blood-related products is included in miscellaneous products.
*** A portion of capital costs (0.46) are labor-related.
Note: Due to rounding, weights may not sum to total.

For RY 2009, we evaluated the price proxies using the criteria of reliability, timeliness, availability, and relevance. Reliability indicates that the index is based on valid statistical methods and has low sampling variability. Timeliness implies that the proxy is published regularly, preferably at least once a quarter. Availability means that the proxy is publicly available. Finally, relevance means that the proxy is applicable and representative of the cost category weight to which it is applied. The Consumer Price Indexes (CPIs), Producer Price Indexes (PPIs), and Employment Cost Indexes (ECIs) used as proxies in this market basket meet these criteria.

We note that the proxies are the same as those used for the FY 1997-based excluded hospital with capital market basket. Because these proxies meet our criteria of reliability, timeliness, availability, and relevance, we believe they continue to be the best measure of price changes for the cost categories. For further discussion on the FY 1997-based excluded hospital with capital market basket, see the August 1, 2002 IPPS final rule (67 FR at 50042).

The RY 2009 (that is, beginning July 1, 2008) update for the IPF PPS using the FY 2002-based RPL market basket and Global Insight's 1st quarter 2008 forecast for the market basket components is 3.2 percent. This includes increases in both the operating section and the capital section for the 12-month RY period (that is, July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009). Global Insight, Inc. is a nationally recognized economic and financial forecasting firm that contracts with CMS to forecast the components of the market baskets.

2. Labor-Related Share

Due to the variations in costs and geographic wage levels, we believe that payment rates under the IPF PPS should continue to be adjusted by a geographic wage index. This wage index applies to the labor-related portion of the Federal per diem base rate, hereafter referred to as the labor-related share.

The labor-related share is determined by identifying the national average proportion of operating costs that are related to, influenced by, or vary with the local labor market. Using our current definition of labor-related, the labor-related share is the sum of the relative importance of wages and salaries, fringe benefits, professional fees, labor-intensive services, and a portion of the capital share from an appropriate market basket. We used the FY 2002-based RPL market basket cost weights Start Printed Page 25714relative importance to determine the labor-related share for the IPF PPS.

The labor-related share for RY 2009 is the sum of the RY 2009 relative importance of each labor-related cost category, and reflects the different rates of price change for these cost categories between the base year (FY 2002) and RY 2009. The sum of the relative importance for the RY 2009 operating costs (wages and salaries, employee benefits, professional fees, and labor-intensive services) is 71.681, as shown in Table 3 below. The portion of capital that is influenced by the local labor market is estimated to be 46 percent, which is the same percentage used in the FY 1997-based IRF and IPF payment systems.

Since the relative importance for capital is 8.586 percent of the FY 2002-based RPL market basket in RY 2009, we are taking 46 percent of 8.586 percent to determine the labor-related share of capital for RY 2009. The result is 3.950 percent, which we added to 71.681 percent for the operating cost amount to determine the total labor-related share for RY 2009. Thus, the labor-related share that we are using for IPF PPS in RY 2009 is 75.631 percent. Table 3 below shows the RY 2009 labor-related share using the FY 2002-based RPL market basket. We note that this labor-related share is determined by using the same methodology as employed in calculating all previous IPF labor-related shares.

A complete discussion of the IPF labor-related share methodology appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66952 through 66954).

Table 3.—Total Labor-Related Share—Relative Importance for RY 2009

Cost categoryFY 2002-based RPL Market Basket Relative Importance (Percent) RY 2008 *FY 2002-based RPL Market Basket Relative Importance (Percent) RY 2009 **
Wages and salaries52.58852.645
Employee benefits14.12714.004
Professional fees2.9072.895
All other labor-intensive services2.1452.137
SUBTOTAL71.76771.681
Labor-related share of capital costs (0.46)4.0213.950
TOTAL75.78875.631
* Based on 2007 1st Quarter forecast.
** Based on 2008 1st Quarter forecast.

3. IPFs Paid Based on a Blend of the Reasonable Cost-Based Payments

As stated in the FY 2006 IPPS final rule (70 FR 47399), for IPFs that are transitioning to the fully Federal prospective payment rate, we will continue using the rebased and revised FY 2002-based excluded hospital market basket to update the reasonable cost-based portion of their payments.

For RY 2009, all IPFs will have fully transitioned to PPS payment and therefore, be paid based on 100 percent IPF PPS. The reasonable cost-based payment which is subject to TEFRA limits will no longer be applied.

IV. Update of the IPF PPS Adjustment Factors

A. Overview of the IPF PPS Adjustment Factors

The IPF PPS payment adjustments were derived from a regression analysis of 100 percent of the FY 2002 MedPAR data file, which contained 483,038 cases. We used the same results of this regression analysis to implement the November 2004 and May 2006 IPF PPS final rules. While we have since used more recent claims data to set the fixed dollar loss threshold amount, we use the same results of this regression analysis to update the IPF PPS for RY 2008 as well as RY 2009.

As previously stated, we do not plan to update the regression analysis until we analyze IPF PPS data. We plan to monitor claims and payment data independently from cost report data to assess issues, or whether changes in case-mix or payment shifts have occurred between free standing governmental, non-profit and private psychiatric hospitals, and psychiatric units of general hospitals, and other issues of importance to psychiatric facilities.

A complete discussion of the data file used for the regression analysis appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66935 through 66936).

B. Patient-Level Adjustments

In the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27040) for RY 2007 and in the May 2007 IPF PPS notice (72 FR 25602) for RY 2008, we provided payment adjustments for the following patient-level characteristics: DRG assignment of the patient's principal diagnosis; selected comorbidities; patient age; and the variable per diem adjustments. As previously stated in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we do not intend to update the adjustment factors derived from the regression analysis until we analyze IPF PPS data that include as much information as possible regarding the patient-level characteristics of the population that each IPF serves.

1. Adjustment for MS-DRG Assignment

The IPF PPS includes payment adjustments for the psychiatric DRG assigned to the claim based on each patient's principal diagnosis. In the May 4, 2007 IPF PPS update notice (72 FR 25602), we explained that the IPF PPS includes 15 diagnosis-related group (DRG) adjustment factors. The adjustment factors were expressed relative to the most frequently reported psychiatric DRG in FY 2002, that is, DRG 430 (psychoses). The coefficient values and adjustment factors were derived from the regression analysis.

In accordance with § 412.27(a), payment under the IPF PPS is conditioned on IPFs admitting “only patients whose admission to the unit is required for active treatment, of an intensity that can be provided appropriately only in an inpatient hospital setting, of a psychiatric principal diagnosis that is listed in the Fourth Edition, Text Revision of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, (DSM-IV-TR) or in Chapter Five (“Mental Disorders”) of the Start Printed Page 25715International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [(ICD-9-CM)].” IPF claims with a principal diagnosis included in Chapter Five of the ICD-9-CM or the DSM-IV-TR will be paid the Federal per diem base rate under the IPF PPS, and all other applicable adjustments, including any applicable DRG adjustment. Psychiatric principal diagnoses that do not group to one of the 15 designated DRGs still receive the Federal per diem base rate and all other applicable adjustments, but the payment would not include a DRG adjustment.

The Standards for Electronic Transaction final rule published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2000 (65 FR 50312) adopted the ICD-9-CM as the designated code set for reporting diseases, injuries, impairments, other health related problems, their manifestations, and causes of injury, disease, impairment, or other health related problems. Therefore, we use the ICD-9-CM as the designated code set for the IPF PPS.

We believe that it is important to maintain the same diagnostic coding and DRG classification for IPFs that are used under the IPPS for providing the same psychiatric care. Therefore, when the IPF PPS was implemented for cost reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2005, we adopted the same diagnostic code set and DRG patient classification system (that is, the CMS DRGs) that was utilized at the time under the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS). Since the inception of the IPF PPS, the DRGs used as the patient classification system under the IPF PPS have corresponded exactly with the CMS DRGs applicable under the IPPS for acute care hospitals.

Every year, changes to the ICD-9-CM coding system are addressed in the IPPS proposed and final rules. The changes to the codes are effective October 1 of each year and must be used by acute care hospitals under the IPPS to report diagnostic and procedure information. The IPF PPS has always incorporated those ICD-9-CM coding changes made in the annual IPPS update. The IPF PPS announces the changes in a change request, at the same time the coding changes to IPPS and LTCH PPS are announced. Those ICD-9-CM coding changes are also published in the next IPF PPS RY update, in either the proposed and final rules, or in an update notice.

As part of CMS' effort to better recognize resource use and the severity of illness among patients, CMS adopted the new Medicare Severity diagnosis related groups (MS-DRGs) for the IPPS in the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period (72 FR 47130). By better accounting for patients' severity of illness in Medicare payment rates, the MS-DRGs encourage hospitals to improve their coding and documentation of patient diagnoses. The MS-DRGs, which are based on the CMS DRGs, represent a significant increase in the number of DRGs (from 538 to 745, an increase of 207). For a full description of the development and implementation of the MS-DRGs, see the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period (72 FR 47141 through 47175). Also see Transmittal 1374 (change request 5748), dated November 7, 2007, for the ICD-9-CM coding changes.

All of the ICD-9-CM coding changes are reflected in the FY 2008 GROUPER, Version 25.0, effective for IPPS discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008. The GROUPER Version 25.0 software package assigns each case to a DRG on the basis of the diagnosis and procedure codes and demographic information (that is age, sex, and discharge status). The Medicare Code Editor (MCE) 24.0 uses the new ICD-9-CM codes to validate coding for IPPS discharges on or after October 1, 2007. For additional information on the GROUPER Version 25.0 and MCE 24.0, see Transmittal 1374, dated November 7, 2007. The IPF PPS has always used the same GROUPER and Code Editor as the IPPS. Therefore, the ICD-9-CM changes, which were reflected in the GROUPER Version 25.0 and MCE 24.0 on October 1, 2007, also became effective for the IPF PPS for discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2007.

The impact of the new MS-DRGs on the IPF PPS is negligible. Mapping the current DRGs to the MS-DRGs, there are now 17 MS-DRGs, instead of the original 15, for which the IPF PPS provides an adjustment. In addition, although the code set is updated, the same associated adjustment factors apply now that have been in place since implementation of the IPF PPS, with one exception that is unrelated to the update to the codes. When DRGs 521 and 522 were consolidated into MS-DRG 895, we carried over the adjustment factor of 1.02 from DRG 521 to the newly consolidated MS-DRG. This was done to reflect the higher claims volume under DRG 521, with more than eight times the number of claims than billed under DRG 522. The updated codes, which were effective October 1, 2007, must be used to report diagnostic or procedure information on IPF PPS claims. These updates are reflected in Table 4.

The official version of the ICD-9-CM is available on CD-ROM from the U.S. Government Printing Office. The FY 2008 version can be ordered by contacting the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Department 50, Washington, DC 20402-9329, telephone number (202) 512-1800. Questions concerning the ICD-9-CM should be directed to Patricia E. Brooks, Co-Chairperson, ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee, CMS, Center for Medicare Management, Hospital and Ambulatory Policy Group, Division of Acute Care, Mailstop C4-08-06, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

Further information concerning the official version of the ICD-9-CM can be found in the IPPS final rule with comment period, “Changes to Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System and Fiscal Year 2008 Rates” in the August 22, 2007 Federal Register (72 FR 47130) and at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​QuarterlyProviderUpdates/​downloads/​cms1533fc.pdf.

Table 4 below lists the FY 2008 new ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes that group to one of the 17 MS-DRGs for which the IPF PPS provides an adjustment. This table is only a listing of FY 2008 changes and does not reflect all of the currently valid and applicable ICD-9-CM codes classified in the MS-DRGs. When coded as a principal code or diagnosis, these codes receive the correlating MS-DRG adjustment.

Table 4.—FY 2008 New Diagnosis Codes

Diagnosis codeDescriptionMS-DRG
315.34Speech and language developmental delay due to hearing loss886
331.5Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH)056, 057

Since we do not plan to update the regression analysis until we analyze IPF PPS data, the MS-DRG adjustment factors, shown in Table 5 below, will continue to be paid for RY 2009. Table 5 reflects the changes that were made to the DRGs under the IPF PPS in a crosswalk of DRGs prior to October 1, 2007 to the new MS-DRGs, which were effective October 1, 2007. Start Printed Page 25716

Table 5.—FY 2008 Crosswalk of Current DRGs to New MS-DRGs Applicable for the Principal Diagnosis Adjustment

(v24) DRG prior to 10/01/07(v25) MS-DRG after 10/01/07MS-DRG descriptionsAdjustment factor
056Degenerative nervous system disorders w MCC
12057Degenerative nervous system disorders w/o MCC1.05
080Nontraumatic stupor & coma w MCC
023081Nontraumatic stupor & coma w/o MCC1.07
424876O.R. procedure w principal diagnoses of mental illness1.22
425880Acute adjustment reaction & psychosocial dysfunction1.05
426881Depressive neuroses0.99
427882Neuroses except depressive1.02
428883Disorders of personality & impulse control1.02
429884Organic disturbances & mental retardation1.03
430885Psychoses1.00
431886Behavioral & developmental disorders0.99
432887Other mental disorder diagnoses0.92
433894Alcohol/drug abuse or dependence, left AMA0.97
521895Alcohol/drug abuse or dependence w rehabilitation therapy1.02
896Alcohol/drug abuse or dependence w/o rehabilitation therapy w MCC
523897Alcohol/drug abuse or dependence w/o rehabilitation therapy w/o MCC0.88

2. Payment for Comorbid Conditions

The intent of the comorbidity adjustment is to recognize the increased costs associated with comorbid conditions by providing additional payments for certain concurrent medical or psychiatric conditions that are expensive to treat. In the May 2007 IPF PPS update notice (72 FR 25602), we explained that the IPF PPS includes 17 comorbidity categories and identified the new, revised and deleted ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes that generate a comborbid condition payment adjustment under the IPF PPS for RY 2008 (72 FR 25609-13).

Comorbidities are specific patient conditions that are secondary to the patient's principal diagnosis, and that require treatment during the stay. Diagnoses that relate to an earlier episode of care and have no bearing on the current hospital stay are excluded and should not be reported on IPF claims. Comorbid conditions must exist at the time of admission or develop subsequently, and affect the treatment received, affect the length of stay (LOS) or affect both treatment and LOS.

For each claim, an IPF may receive only one comorbidity adjustment per comorbidity category, but it may receive an adjustment for more than one comorbidity category. Billing instructions require that IPFs must enter the full ICD-9-CM codes for up to 8 additional diagnoses if they co-exist at the time of admission or develop subsequently.

The comorbidity adjustments were determined based on the regression analysis using the diagnoses reported by hospitals in FY 2002. The principal diagnoses were used to establish the DRG adjustment and were not accounted for in establishing the comorbidity category adjustments, except where ICD-9-CM “code first” instructions apply. As we explained in the May 2007 IPF PPS notice (72 FR 25602), the code first rule applies when a condition has both an underlying etiology and a manifestation due to the underlying etiology. For these conditions, the ICD-9-CM has a coding convention that requires the underlying conditions to be sequenced first followed by the manifestation. Whenever a combination exists, there is a “use additional code” note at the etiology code and a “code first” note at the manifestation code.

As discussed in the DRG section, it is our policy to maintain the same diagnostic coding set for IPFs that is used under the IPPS for providing the same psychiatric care. Although the ICD-9-CM code set has been updated, the same adjustment factors have been in place since the implementation of the IPF PPS. Table 6 below lists the FY 2008 new ICD diagnosis codes that impact the comorbidity adjustments under the IPF PPS. Table 6 is not a list of all currently valid ICD codes applicable for the IPF PPS comorbidity adjustments.

Table 6.—FY 2008 New ICD Codes Applicable for the Comorbidity Adjustments Diagnosis

Diagnosis codeDescriptionComorbidity category
040.41Infant botulismInfectious Diseases.
040.42Wound botulismInfectious Diseases.
058.10Roseola infantum, unspecifiedInfectious Diseases.
058.11Roseola infantum due to human herpesvirus 6Infectious Diseases.
058.12Roseola infantum due to human herpesvirus 7Infectious Diseases.
058.21Human herpesvirus 6 encephalitisInfectious Diseases.
058.29Other human herpesvirus encephalitisInfectious Diseases.
058.81Human herpesvirus 6 infectionInfectious Diseases.
058.82Human herpesvirus 7 infectionInfectious Diseases.
058.89Other human herpesvirus infectionInfectious Diseases.
200.30Marginal zone lymphoma, unspecified site, extranodal and solid organ sitesOncology Treatment.
200.31Marginal zone lymphoma, lymph nodes of head, face, and neckOncology Treatment.
200.32Marginal zone lymphoma, intrathoracic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
Start Printed Page 25717
200.33Marginal zone lymphoma, intraabdominal lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.34Marginal zone lymphoma, lymph nodes of axilla and upper limbOncology Treatment.
200.35Marginal zone lymphoma, lymph nodes of inguinal region and lower limbOncology Treatment.
200.36Marginal zone lymphoma, intrapelvic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.37Marginal zone lymphoma, spleenOncology Treatment.
200.38Marginal zone lymphoma, lymph nodes of multiple sitesOncology Treatment.
200.40Mantle cell lymphoma, unspecified site, extranodal and solid organ sitesOncology Treatment.
200.41Mantle cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of head, face, and neckOncology Treatment.
200.42Mantle cell lymphoma, intrathoracic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.43Mantle cell lymphoma, intra-abdominal lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.44Mantle cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of axilla and upper limbOncology Treatment.
200.45Mantle cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of inguinal region and lower limbOncology Treatment.
200.46Mantle cell lymphoma, intrapelvic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.47Mantle cell lymphoma, spleenOncology Treatment.
200.48Mantle cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of multiple sitesOncology Treatment.
200.50Primary central nervous system lymphoma, unspecified site, extranodal and solid organ sitesOncology Treatment.
200.51Primary central nervous system lymphoma, lymph nodes of head, face, and neckOncology Treatment.
200.52Primary central nervous system lymphoma, intrathoracic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.53Primary central nervous system lymphoma, intra-abdominal lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.54Primary central nervous system lymphoma, lymph nodes of axilla and upper limbOncology Treatment.
200.55Primary central nervous system lymphoma, lymph nodes of inguinal region and lower limbOncology Treatment.
200.56Primary central nervous system lymphoma, intrapelvic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.57Primary central nervous system lymphoma, spleenOncology Treatment.
200.58Primary central nervous system lymphoma, lymph nodes of multiple sitesOncology Treatment.
200.60Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, unspecified site, extranodal and solid organ sitesOncology Treatment.
200.61Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of head, face, and neckOncology Treatment.
200.62Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, intrathoracic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.63Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, intra-abdominal lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.64Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of axilla and upper limbOncology Treatment.
200.65Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of inguinal region and lower limbOncology Treatment.
200.66Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, intrapelvic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.67Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, spleenOncology Treatment.
200.68Anaplastic large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of multiple sitesOncology Treatment.
200.70Large cell lymphoma, unspecified site, extranodal and solid organ sitesOncology Treatment.
200.71Large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of head, face, and neckOncology Treatment.
200.72Large cell lymphoma, intrathoracic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.73Large cell lymphoma, intra-abdominal lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.74Large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of axilla and upper limbOncology Treatment.
200.75Large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of inguinal region and lower limbOncology Treatment.
200.76Large cell lymphoma, intrapelvic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
200.77Large cell lymphoma, spleenOncology Treatment.
200.78Large cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of multiple sitesOncology Treatment.
202.70Peripheral T cell lymphoma, unspecified site, extranodal and solid organ sitesOncology Treatment.
202.71Peripheral T cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of head, face, and neckOncology Treatment.
202.72Peripheral T cell lymphoma, intrathoracic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
202.73Peripheral T cell lymphoma, intra-abdominal lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
202.74Peripheral T cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of axilla and upper limbOncology Treatment.
202.75Peripheral T cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of inguinal region and lower limbOncology Treatment.
202.76Peripheral T cell lymphoma, intrapelvic lymph nodesOncology Treatment.
202.77Peripheral T cell lymphoma, spleenOncology Treatment.
Start Printed Page 25718
202.78Peripheral T cell lymphoma, lymph nodes of multiple sitesOncology Treatment.
233.30Carcinoma in situ, unspecified female genital organOncology Treatment.
233.31Carcinoma in situ, vaginaOncology Treatment.
233.32Carcinoma in situ, vulvaOncology Treatment.
233.39Carcinoma in situ, other female genital organOncology Treatment.
.

Table 7 lists the invalid ICD-9-CM codes no longer applicable for the comorbidity adjustment. .

Table 7.—FY 2008 Invalid ICD Codes No Longer Applicable for the Comorbidity Adjustment

Diagnosis codeDescriptionComorbidity category.
233.3Carcinoma in situ, other and unspecified female genital organsOncology Treatment.

The seventeen comorbidity categories for which we are providing an adjustment, their respective codes, including the new FY 2008 ICD codes, and their respective adjustment factors, are listed below in Table 8. .

Table 8.—RY 2009 Diagnosis Codes and Adjustment Factors for Comorbidity Categories

Description of comorbidityICD-9CM codeAdjustment factor
Developmental Disabilities317, 3180, 3181, 3182, and 3191.04
Coagulation Factor Deficits2860 through 28641.13
Tracheostomy51900—through 51909 and V4401.06
Renal Failure, Acute5845 through 5849, 63630, 63631, 63632, 63730, 63731, 63732, 6383, 6393, 66932, 66934, 95851.11
Renal Failure, Chronic40301, 40311, 40391, 40402, 40412, 40413, 40492, 40493, 5853, 5854, 5855, 5856, 5859, 586, V451, V560, V561, and V5621.11
Oncology Treatment1400 through 2399 with a radiation therapy code 92.21-92.29 or chemotherapy code 99.251.07
Uncontrolled Diabetes-Mellitus with or without complications25002, 25003, 25012, 25013, 25022, 25023, 25032, 25033, 25042, 25043, 25052, 25053, 25062, 25063, 25072, 25073, 25082, 25083, 25092, and 250931.05
Severe Protein Calorie Malnutrition260 through 2621.13
Eating and Conduct Disorders3071, 30750, 31203, 31233, and 312341.12
Infectious Disease01000 through 04110, 042, 04500 through 05319, 05440 through 05449, 0550 through 0770, 0782 through 07889, and 07950 through 079591.07
Drug and/or Alcohol Induced Mental Disorders2910, 2920, 29212, 2922, 30300, and 304001.03
Cardiac Conditions3910, 3911, 3912, 40201, 40403, 4160, 4210, 4211, and 42191.11
Gangrene44024 and 78541.10
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease49121, 4941, 5100, 51883, 51884, V4611 and V4612, V4613 and V46141.12
Artificial Openings-Digestive and Urinary56960 through 56969, 9975, and V441 through V4461.08
Severe Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Diseases6960, 7100, 73000 through 73009, 73010 through 73019, and 73020 through 730291.09
Poisoning96500 through 96509, 9654, 9670 through 9699, 9770, 9800 through 9809, 9830 through 9839, 986, 9890 through 98971.11

3. Patient Age Adjustments

As explained in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we analyzed the impact of age on per diem cost by examining the age variable (that is, the range of ages) for payment adjustments.

In general, we found that the cost per day increases with increasing age. The older age groups are more costly than the under 45 age group, the differences in per diem cost increase for each successive age group, and the differences are statistically significant.

For RY 2009, we are continuing to use the patient age adjustments currently in effect and shown in Table 9 below.

Table 9.—Age Groupings and Adjustment Factors

AgeAdjustment factor
Under 451.00
45 and under 501.01
50 and under 551.02
55 and under 601.04
60 and under 651.07
65 and under 701.10
70 and under 751.13
75 and under 801.15
80 and over1.17
Start Printed Page 25719

4. Variable Per Diem Adjustments

We explained in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule that a regression analysis indicated that per diem cost declines as the LOS increases (69 FR 66946). The variable per diem adjustments to the Federal per diem base rate account for ancillary and administrative costs that occur disproportionately in the first days after admission to an IPF.

We used a regression analysis to estimate the average differences in per diem cost among stays of different lengths. As a result of this analysis, we established variable per diem adjustments that begin on day 1 and decline gradually until day 21 of a patient's stay. For day 22 and thereafter, the variable per diem adjustment remains the same each day for the remainder of the stay. However, the adjustment applied to day 1 depends upon whether the IPF has a qualifying ED. If an IPF has a qualifying ED, it receives a 1.31 adjustment factor for day 1 of each patient stay. If an IPF does not have a qualifying ED, it receives a 1.19 adjustment factor for day 1 of the stay. The ED adjustment is explained in more detail in section IV.C.5 of this notice.

For RY 2009, we are continuing to use the variable per diem adjustment factors currently in effect as shown in Table 10 below.

A complete discussion of the variable per diem adjustments appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66946).

Table 10.—Variable Per Diem Adjustments

Day-of-stayAdjustment factor
Day 1—IPF Without a Qualified ED1.19
Day 1—IPF With a Qualified ED1.31
Day 21.12
Day 31.08
Day 41.05
Day 51.04
Day 61.02
Day 71.01
Day 81.01
Day 91.00
Day 101.00
Day 110.99
Day 120.99
Day 130.99
Day 140.99
Day 150.98
Day 160.97
Day 170.97
Day 180.96
Day 190.95
Day 200.95
Day 210.95
After Day 210.92

C. Facility-Level Adjustments

The IPF PPS includes facility-level adjustments for the wage index, IPFs located in rural areas, teaching IPFs, cost of living adjustments for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii, and IPFs with a qualifying ED.

1. Wage Index Adjustment

As discussed in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule, and in the May 2007 notice, in providing an adjustment for area wage levels, the labor-related portion of an IPF's Federal prospective payment is adjusted using an appropriate wage index. An IPF's area wage index value is determined based on the actual location of the IPF in an urban or rural area as defined in § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(A) through (C).

Since the inception of the IPF PPS, we have used hospital wage data in developing a wage index to be applied to IPFs. We are continuing that practice for RY 2009. We apply the wage index adjustment to the labor-related portion of the Federal rate, which is 75.631 percent. This percentage reflects the labor-related relative importance of the RPL market basket for RY 2009. The IPF PPS uses the pre-floor, pre-reclassified hospital wage index. Changes to the wage index are made in a budget neutral manner, so that updates do not increase expenditures.

For RY 2009, we are applying the most recent hospital wage index using the most recent hospital wage data, and applying an adjustment in accordance with our budget neutrality policy. This policy requires us to estimate the total amount of IPF PPS payments in RY 2008 and divide that amount by the total estimated IPF PPS payments in RY 2009. The estimated payments are based on FY 2006 IPF claims, inflated to the appropriate RY. This quotient is the wage index budget neutrality factor, and it is applied in the update of the Federal per diem base rate for RY 2009. The wage index budget neutrality factor for RY 2009 is 1.0010.

The wage index applicable for RY 2009 appears in Table 1 and Table 2 in Addendum B of this notice. As explained in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule for RY 2007 (71 FR 27061), and in the IPF PPS May 2007 notice for RY 2008 (72 FR 25602), the IPF PPS applies the hospital wage index without a hold-harmless policy, and without an out-commuting adjustment or out-migration adjustment because we feel these policies apply only to the IPPS.

In the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule for RY 2007 (71 FR 27061), we adopted the changes discussed in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin No. 03-04 (June 6, 2003), which announced revised definitions for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), and the creation of Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas. In adopting the OMB Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) geographic designations, since the IPF PPS was already in a transition period from TEFRA payments to PPS payments, we did not provide a separate transition for the wage index.

As was the case in RY 2008, for RY 2009, we will be using the full CBSA-based wage index values as presented in Tables 1 and 2 in Addendum B of this notice.

Finally, we continue to use the same methodology discussed in the IPF PPS proposed rule for RY 2007 (71 FR 3633), and finalized in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule for RY 2007 (71 FR 27061) to address those geographic areas where there are no hospitals and, thus, no hospital wage index data on which to base the calculation of the RY 2009 IPF PPS wage index. For RY 2009, those areas consist of rural Massachusetts, rural Puerto Rico and urban CBSA (25980) Hinesville-Fort Stewart, GA.

A complete discussion of the CBSA labor market definitions appears in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27061 through 27067).

a. Clarification of New England Deemed Counties

We are also taking this opportunity to address the change in the treatment of “New England deemed counties” (that is, those counties in New England listed in § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(B) that were deemed to be parts of urban areas under section 601(g) of the Social Security Amendments of 1983) that was made in the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period. These counties include the following: Litchfield County, Connecticut; York County, Maine; Sagadahoc County, Maine; Merrimack County, New Hampshire; and Newport County, Rhode Island. Of these five “New England deemed counties,” three (York County, Sagadahoc County, and Newport County) are also included in metropolitan statistical areas defined by OMB and are considered urban under both the current IPPS and IPF PPS labor market area definitions in § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(A). The remaining two, Litchfield County and Merrimack County, are geographically located in areas that are considered rural under the current IPPS (and IPF PPS) labor market area definitions (however, they have been previously deemed urban under the IPPS in certain circumstances as discussed below). Start Printed Page 25720

In the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period (72 FR 47337 through 47338), § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(B) was revised such that the two “New England deemed counties” that are still considered rural under the OMB definitions (Litchfield County, CT and Merrimack County, NH), are no longer considered urban effective for discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2007, and therefore, are considered rural in accordance with § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(C). However, for purposes of payment under the IPPS, acute-care hospitals located within those areas are treated as being reclassified to their deemed urban area effective for discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2007 (see 72 FR 47337 through 47338). We note that the IPF PPS does not provide for such geographic reclassification (71 FR 27061 through 27067). Also in the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period (72 FR 47338), we explained that we limited this policy change for the “New England deemed counties” only to IPPS hospitals, and any change to non-IPPS provider wage indices would be addressed in the respective payment system rules.

Accordingly, as stated above, we are taking the opportunity to clarify the treatment of “New England deemed counties” under the IPF PPS in this notice. As discussed above, under existing § 412.402 and § 412.424(d)(1)(i), an IPF's wage index is determined based on the location of the IPF in an urban or rural area as defined in § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(A) through (C). Under existing § 412.402, an urban area under the IPF PPS is currently defined at § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), and a rural area is defined at § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(C) as any area outside of an urban area.

Historical changes to the labor market area/geographic classifications and annual updates to the wage index values under the IPF PPS are made effective July 1 each year. When we established the most recent IPF PPS payment rate update, effective for IPF discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, we considered the “New England deemed counties” (including Litchfield County, CT and Merrimack County, NH) as urban for RY 2008 (in accordance with the definitions of urban and rural stated in the RY 2008 IPF PPS notice (72 FR 25602) and as evidenced by the inclusion of Litchfield County as one of the constituent counties of urban CBSA 25540 (Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT), and the inclusion of Merrimack County as one of the constituent counties of urban CBSA 31700 (Manchester-Nashua, NH)). (See 72 FR 25643 and 25651, respectively).

As noted above, existing § 412.402 indicates that the terms “rural” and “urban” are defined according to the definitions of those terms in § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(A) through (C). Effective for discharges on or after July 1, 2008, § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(B) is no longer applicable under the IPF PPS. Therefore, as Litchfield County, CT and Merrimack County, NH would be considered rural areas in accordance with our regulations at § 412.402, these two counties will be “rural” under the IPF PPS effective with the next update of the IPF PPS payment rates, which will be July 1, 2008 (under the IPF PPS effective for discharges on or after July 1, 2008, Litchfield County, CT and Merrimack County, NH are not urban under § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(A) through (B), as revised under the RY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period, and therefore are rural under § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(C)). Litchfield County, CT and Merrimack County, NH will be considered “rural” effective for IPF PPS discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2008, and will no longer be considered as being part of urban CBSA 25540 (Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT) and urban CBSA 31700 (Manchester-Nashua, NH), respectively. We do not need to make any changes to our regulations to effectuate this change. We note that this policy is consistent with our policy of not taking into account IPPS geographic reclassifications in determining payments under the IPF PPS.

Four IPFs (two in Litchfield County, CT, and two in Merrimack County, NH) greatly benefit from treating the counties in which they are located as rural. These IPFs will begin to receive the rural facility adjustment and see an approximate 17 percent increase in payments. Five IPFs in NH that are currently treated as rural will experience an approximate 3 percent decrease in payments because the rural NH wage index value decreases when this change is made. One IPF in CT that is currently treated as rural will experience an approximate 4 percent decrease in payments because the rural CT wage index value is lower when this change is made.

The area wage index values for CBSAs 31700 and 25540 increase with the change. No other IPFs in CT or NH are affected by treating Litchfield and Merrimack Counties as rural.

b. Multi-Campus—Wage Index Data Collection

Historically, under the IPF PPS, we have established IPF PPS wage index values calculated from acute care IPPS hospital wage data without taking into account geographic reclassification under sections 1886(d)(8) and (d)(10) of the Act. As we discussed in the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27040), hospitals that are excluded from the IPPS are not required to provide wage-related information on the Medicare cost report (which is needed in order to make geographic reclassifications). Thus, the wage adjustment established under the IPF PPS is based on an IPF's actual location without regard to the urban or rural designation of any related or affiliated provider.

In the RY 2008 IPF PPS notice (72 FR 25602), we established IPF PPS wage index values for the RY 2008 calculated from the same data (collected from cost reports submitted by hospitals for cost reporting periods beginning during FY 2003) used to compute the FY 2007 acute care hospital inpatient wage index data without taking into account geographic reclassification under sections 1886(d)(8) and (d)(10) of the Act because that was the best available data at that time. The IPF PPS wage index values applicable for discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 are shown in Table 1 (for urban areas) and Table 2 (for rural areas) in the Addendum to the RY 2008 IPF PPS final rule (72 FR 25627 through 25673).

For RY 2009, the same data (collected from cost reports submitted by hospitals for cost reporting periods beginning during FY 2004) used to compute the FY 2008 acute care hospital inpatient wage index data without taking into account geographic reclassification under sections 1886(d)(8) and (d)(10) of the Act was used to determine the applicable wage index values under the IPF PPS because these data (FY 2004) are the most recent complete data. (For information on the data used to compute the FY 2008 IPPS wage index, refer to the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period (72 FR 47308 through 47309, 47315)). We are continuing to use IPPS wage data as a proxy to determine the IPF wage index values for RY 2009 because both IPFs and acute-care hospitals are required to meet the same certification criteria set forth in section 1861(e) of the Act to participate as a hospital in the Medicare program and they both compete in the same labor markets, and therefore, experience similar wage-related costs. We note that the IPPS wage data used to determine the RY 2009 IPF wage index values reflects our policy that was adopted under the IPPS beginning in FY 2008 that apportions the wage data for multi-campus hospitals located in different Start Printed Page 25721labor market areas (CBSAs) to each CBSA where the campuses are located (see the FY 2008 IPPS final rule with comment period (72 FR 47317 through 47320)). The RY 2009 IPF PPS wage index values presented in this notice were computed consistent with our pre-reclassified IPPS wage index policy (that is, our historical policy of not taking into account IPPS geographic reclassifications in determining payments under the IPF PPS).

For the RY 2009 IPF PPS, the wage index was computed from IPPS wage data (submitted by hospitals for cost reporting periods beginning in FY 2004 (just like the FY 2008 IPPS wage index)), which allocated salaries and hours to the campuses of two multi-campus hospitals with campuses that are located in different labor areas, one in Massachusetts and another in Illinois. Thus, the RY 2009 IPF PPS wage index values for the following CBSAs are affected by this policy: Boston-Quincy, MA (CBSA 14484), Providence-New Bedford-Falls River, RI-MA (CBSA 39300), Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL (CBSA 16974) and Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI (CBSA 29404) (refer to Table 1 in the Addendum of this notice).

The table below describes the change in wage index value and the number of IPFs affected by the multi-campus hospital policy change:

Table 11.—IPFs Affected by the Multi-Campus Hospital Policy Change

CBSANo. of IPFsWage index value change
14484 (Boston-Quincy, MA)170.0153
16974 (Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL)47−0.002
29404 (Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI)20.0288
39300 (Providence-New Bedford-Falls River, RI-MA)12−0.0111

c. OMB Bulletins

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publishes bulletins regarding CBSA changes, including changes to CBSA numbers and titles. In the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule for FY 2006 (71 FR 27040), we adopted the changes discussed in the OMB Bulletin No. 03-04 (June 6, 2003), available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​bulletins/​b03-04.html. Those changes were strictly nomenclature changes and did not represent substantive changes to the CBSA-based designations. In this notice, we incorporate the CBSA nomenclature changes published in the most recent OMB bulletin that applies to the hospital wage data used to determine the current IPF PPS wage index, and we expect to do the same for all such OMB CBSA nomenclature changes in future IPF PPS rules and notices, as necessary. The OMB bulletins may be accessed online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​bulletins/​index.html.

2. Adjustment for Rural Location

In the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we provided a 17 percent payment adjustment for IPFs located in a rural area. This adjustment was based on the regression analysis, which indicated that the per diem cost of rural facilities was 17 percent higher than that of urban facilities after accounting for the influence of the other variables included in the regression. For RY 2009, we are applying a 17 percent payment adjustment for IPFs located in a rural area as defined at § 412.64(b)(1)(ii)(C). A complete discussion of the adjustment for rural locations appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66954).

3. Teaching Adjustment

In the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we implemented regulations at § 412.424(d)(1)(iii) to establish a facility-level adjustment for IPFs that are, or are part of, teaching institutions. The teaching adjustment accounts for the higher indirect operating costs experienced by facilities that participate in graduate medical education (GME) programs. Payments are made based on the number of full-time equivalent interns and residents training in the IPF.

Medicare makes direct GME payments (for direct costs such as resident and teaching physician salaries, and other direct teaching costs) to all teaching hospitals including those paid under the IPPS, and those that were once paid under the TEFRA rate-of-increase limits but are now paid under other PPSs. These direct GME payments are made separately from payments for hospital operating costs and are not part of the PPSs. The direct GME payments do not address the estimated higher indirect operating costs teaching hospitals may face.

For teaching hospitals paid under the TEFRA rate of increase limits, Medicare did not make separate medical education payments because payments to these hospitals were based on the hospitals' reasonable costs. Since payments under TEFRA were based on hospitals' reasonable costs, the higher indirect costs that might be associated with teaching programs would automatically have been factored into the TEFRA payments.

The results of the regression analysis of FY 2002 IPF data established the basis for the payment adjustments included in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule. The results showed that the indirect teaching cost variable is significant in explaining the higher costs of IPFs that have teaching programs. We calculated the teaching adjustment based on the IPF's “teaching variable,” which is one plus the ratio of the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) residents training in the IPF (subject to limitations described below) to the IPF's average daily census (ADC).

In the regression analysis, the logarithm of the teaching variable had a coefficient value of 0.5150. We converted this cost effect to a teaching payment adjustment by treating the regression coefficient as an exponent and raising the teaching variable to a power equal to the coefficient value. We note that the coefficient value of 0.5150 was based on the regression analysis holding all other components of the payment system constant.

As with other adjustment factors derived through the regression analysis, we do not plan to rerun the regression analysis until we analyze IPF PPS data. Therefore, for RY 2009, we are retaining the coefficient value of 0.5150 for the teaching adjustment to the Federal per diem base rate.

A complete discussion of how the teaching adjustment was calculated appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66954 through 66957) and the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27067 through 27070).

4. Cost of Living Adjustment for IPFs Located in Alaska and Hawaii

The IPF PPS includes a payment adjustment for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii based upon the county in which the IPF is located. As we explained in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, the FY 2002 data Start Printed Page 25722demonstrated that IPFs in Alaska and Hawaii had per diem costs that were disproportionately higher than other IPFs. Other Medicare PPSs (for example, the IPPS and LTCH PPS) have adopted a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to account for the cost differential of care furnished in Alaska and Hawaii.

We analyzed the effect of applying a COLA to payments for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii. The results of our analysis demonstrated that a COLA for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii would improve payment equity for these facilities. As a result of this analysis, we provided a COLA in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule.

In general, the COLA accounts for the higher costs in the IPF and eliminates the projected loss that IPFs in Alaska and Hawaii would experience absent the COLA. A COLA factor for IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii is made by multiplying the non-labor share of the Federal per diem base rate by the applicable COLA factor based on the COLA area in which the IPF is located.

As previously stated, we will update the COLA factors according to updates established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which issued a final rule to change COLA rates effective September 1, 2006.

The COLA factors are published on the OPM Web site at http://www.opm.gov/​oca/​cola/​rates.asp.

We note that the COLA areas for Alaska are not defined by county as are the COLA areas for Hawaii. In 5 CFR 591.207, the OPM established the following COLA areas:

(a) City of Anchorage, and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius by road, as measured from the Federal courthouse;

(b) City of Fairbanks, and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius by road, as measured from the Federal courthouse;

(c) City of Juneau, and 80-kilometer (50-mile) radius by road, as measured from the Federal courthouse;

(d) Rest of the State of Alaska.

In the November 2004 and May 2006 IPF PPS final rules, we showed only one COLA for Alaska because all four areas were the same amount (1.25). Effective September 1, 2006, the OPM updated the COLA amounts and there are now two different amounts for the Alaska COLA areas (1.24 and 1.25).

For RY 2009, IPFs located in Alaska and Hawaii will receive the updated COLA factors based on the COLA area in which the IPF is located and as shown in Table 12 below.

Table 12.— COLA Factors for Alaska and Hawaii IPFs

LocationCOLA
AlaskaAnchorage1.24
Fairbanks1.24
Juneau1.24
Rest of Alaska1.25
HawaiiHonolulu County1.25
Hawaii County1.17
Kauai County1.25
Maui County1.25
Kalawao County1.25

5. Adjustment for IPFs With a Qualifying Emergency Department (ED)

Currently, the IPF PPS includes a facility-level adjustment for IPFs with qualifying EDs. We provide an adjustment to the standardized Federal per diem base rate to account for the costs associated with maintaining a full-service ED. The adjustment is intended to account for ED costs allocated to the hospital's distinct part psychiatric unit for preadmission services otherwise payable under the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) furnished to a beneficiary during the day immediately preceding the date of admission to the IPF (see § 413.40(c)) and the overhead cost of maintaining the ED. This payment is a facility-level adjustment that applies to all IPF admissions (with the one exception as described below), regardless of whether a particular patient receives preadmission services in the hospital's ED.

The ED adjustment is incorporated into the variable per diem adjustment for the first day of each stay for IPFs with a qualifying ED. That is, IPFs with a qualifying ED receive an adjustment factor of 1.31 as the variable per diem adjustment for day 1 of each stay. If an IPF does not have a qualifying ED, it receives an adjustment factor of 1.19 as the variable per diem adjustment for day 1 of each patient stay.

The ED adjustment is made on every qualifying claim except as described below. As specified in § 412.424(d)(1)(v)(B), the ED adjustment is not made where a patient is discharged from an acute care hospital or CAH and admitted to the same hospital's or CAH's psychiatric unit. An ED adjustment is not made in this case because the costs associated with ED services are reflected in the DRG payment to the acute care hospital or through the reasonable cost payment made to the CAH. If we provided the ED adjustment in these cases, the hospital would be paid twice for the overhead costs of the ED (69 FR 66960).

Therefore, when patients are discharged from an acute care hospital or CAH and admitted to the same hospital's or CAH's psychiatric unit, the IPF receives the 1.19 adjustment factor as the variable per diem adjustment for the first day of the patient's stay in the IPF.

For RY 2009, we are retaining the 1.31 adjustment factor for IPFs with qualifying EDs. A complete discussion of the steps involved in the calculation of the ED adjustment factor appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66959 through 66960) and the May 2006 IPF PPS final rule (71 FR 27070 through 27072).

D. Other Payment Adjustments and Policies

For RY 2009, the IPF PPS includes the following payment adjustments: An outlier adjustment to promote access to IPF care for those patients who require expensive care and to limit the financial risk of IPFs treating unusually costly patients. In this section, we also explain the reason for ending the stop-loss provision that was applicable during the transition period.

1. Outlier Payments

In the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we implemented regulations at § 412.424(d)(3)(i) to provide a per-case payment for IPF stays that are extraordinarily costly. Providing additional payments to IPFs for extremely costly cases strongly improves the accuracy of the IPF PPS in determining resource costs at the patient and facility level. These additional Start Printed Page 25723payments reduce the financial losses that would otherwise be incurred in treating patients who require more costly care and, therefore, reduce the incentives for IPFs to under-serve these patients.

We make outlier payments for discharges in which an IPF's estimated total cost for a case exceeds a fixed dollar loss threshold amount (multiplied by the IPF's facility-level adjustments) plus the Federal per diem payment amount for the case.

In instances when the case qualifies for an outlier payment, we pay 80 percent of the difference between the estimated cost for the case and the adjusted threshold amount for days 1 through 9 of the stay (consistent with the median LOS for IPFs in FY 2002), and 60 percent of the difference for day 10 and thereafter. We established the 80 percent and 60 percent loss sharing ratios because we were concerned that a single ratio established at 80 percent (like other Medicare PPSs) might provide an incentive under the IPF per diem payment system to increase LOS in order to receive additional payments. After establishing the loss sharing ratios, we determined the current fixed dollar loss threshold amount of $6,488 through payment simulations designed to compute a dollar loss beyond which payments are estimated to meet the 2 percent outlier spending target.

a. Update to the Outlier Fixed Dollar Loss Threshold Amount

In accordance with the update methodology described in § 412.428(d), we are updating the fixed dollar loss threshold amount used under the IPF PPS outlier policy. Based on the regression analysis and payment simulations used to develop the IPF PPS, we established a 2 percent outlier policy which strikes an appropriate balance between protecting IPFs from extraordinarily costly cases while ensuring the adequacy of the Federal per diem base rate for all other cases that are not outlier cases.

We believe it is necessary to update the fixed dollar loss threshold amount because analysis of the latest available data (that is, FY 2006 IPF claims) and rate increases indicates adjusting the fixed dollar loss amount is necessary in order to maintain an outlier percentage that equals 2 percent of total estimated IPF PPS payments.

In the May 2006 IPF PPS Final Rule (71 FR 27072), we describe the process by which we calculate the outlier fixed dollar loss threshold amount. We continue to use this process for RY 2009. We begin by simulating aggregate payments with and without an outlier policy, and applying an iterative process to a fixed dollar loss amount that will result in outlier payments being equal to 2 percent of total estimated payments under the simulation. Based on this process, for RY 2009, the IPF PPS will use $6,113 as the fixed dollar loss threshold amount in the outlier calculation in order to maintain the 2 percent outlier policy.

b. Statistical Accuracy of Cost-to-Charge Ratios

As previously stated, under the IPF PPS, an outlier payment is made if an IPF's cost for a stay exceeds a fixed dollar loss threshold amount. In order to establish an IPF's cost for a particular case, we multiply the IPF's reported charges on the discharge bill by its overall cost to charge ratio (CCR). This approach to determining an IPF's cost is consistent with the approach used under the IPPS and other PPSs. In FY 2004, we implemented changes to the IPPS outlier policy used to determine CCRs for acute care hospitals because we became aware that payment vulnerabilities resulted in inappropriate outlier payments. Under the IPPS, we established a statistical measure of accuracy for CCRs in order to ensure that aberrant CCR data did not result in inappropriate outlier payments.

As we indicated in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, because we believe that the IPF outlier policy is susceptible to the same payment vulnerabilities as the IPPS, we adopted an approach to ensure the statistical accuracy of CCRs under the IPF PPS (69 FR 66961). Therefore, we adopted the following procedure in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule:

  • We calculated two national ceilings, one for IPFs located in rural areas and one for IPFs located in urban areas. We computed the ceilings by first calculating the national average and the standard deviation of the CCR for both urban and rural IPFs.

To determine the rural and urban ceilings, we multiplied each of the standard deviations by 3 and added the result to the appropriate national CCR average (either rural or urban). The upper threshold CCR for IPFs in RY 2009 is 1.8041 for rural IPFs, and 1.6724 for urban IPFs, based on CBSA-based geographic designations. If an IPF's CCR is above the applicable ceiling, the ratio is considered statistically inaccurate and we assign the appropriate national (either rural or urban) median CCR to the IPF.

We are applying the national CCRs to the following situations:

++ New IPFs that have not yet submitted their first Medicare cost report.

++ IPFs whose CCR is in excess of 3 standard deviations above the corresponding national geometric mean (that is, above the ceiling).

++ Other IPFs for whom the Medicare contractor obtains inaccurate or incomplete data with which to calculate a CCR.

For new IPFs, we are using these national CCRs until the facility's actual CCR can be computed using the first tentatively settled or final settled cost report, which will then be used for the subsequent cost report period.

We are not making any changes to the procedures for ensuring the statistical accuracy of CCRs in RY 2009. However, we are updating the national urban and rural CCRs (ceilings and medians) for IPFs for RY 2009 based on the CCRs entered in the latest available IPF PPS Provider Specific File.

The national CCRs for RY 2009 are 0.686 for rural IPFs and 0.5370 for urban IPFs and will be used in each of the three situations listed above. These calculations are based on the IPF's location (either urban or rural) using the CBSA-based geographic designations.

A complete discussion regarding the national median CCRs appears in the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule (69 FR 66961 through 66964).

2. Stop-Loss Provision

In the November 2004 IPF PPS final rule, we implemented a stop-loss policy that reduces financial risk to IPFs expected to experience substantial reductions in Medicare payments during the period of transition to the IPF PPS. This stop-loss policy guarantees that each facility receives total IPF PPS payments that are no less than 70 percent of its TEFRA payments had the IPF PPS not been implemented.

This policy is applied to the IPF PPS portion of Medicare payments during the 3-year transition. During the first year, for transitioning IPFs, three-quarters of the payment was based on TEFRA and one-quarter on the IPF PPS payment amount. In the second year, one-half of the payment was based on TEFRA and one-half on the IPF PPS payment amount. In the third year, one-quarter of the payment was based on TEFRA and three-quarters on the IPF PPS. For cost report periods beginning on or after January 1, 2008, payments are based 100 percent on the IPF PPS.

The combined effects of the transition and the stop-loss policies ensure that the total estimated IPF PPS payments were no less than 92.5 percent in the first year, 85 percent in the second year, Start Printed Page 25724and 77.5 percent in the third year. Under the 70 percent policy, in the third year, 25 percent of an IPF's payment is TEFRA payments, and 75 percent is IPF PPS payments, which are guaranteed to be at least 70 percent of the TEFRA payments. The resulting 77.5 percent of TEFRA payments is the sum of 25 percent and 75 percent times 70 percent (which equals 52.5 percent).

In the implementation year, the 70 percent of TEFRA payment stop-loss policy required a reduction in the standardized Federal per diem and ECT base rates of 0.39 percent in order to make the stop-loss payments budget neutral.

For the RY 2009 (that is for discharges occurring on or after July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009), we are not making any changes to the stop-loss policy for IPFs continuing to transition. However, beginning January 1, 2009, the stop-loss provision will have ended for all IPFs because it was implemented to be effective for the duration of the transition period, and the transition period will be completed beginning January 1, 2009. As indicated in “Section III. A.2.6 of this notice for RY 2009, we are increasing the Federal per diem base rate and ECT rate by 0.39 percent because these rates were reduced by 0.39 percent in the implementation year to ensure stop-loss payments were budget neutral.

V. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect. We can waive this procedure, however, if we find good cause that notice and comment procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest and we incorporate a statement of finding and its reasons in the notice.

We find it is unnecessary to undertake notice and comment rulemaking for the update in this notice because the update does not make any substantive changes in policy, but merely reflects the application of previously established methodologies. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C 553(b)(3)(B), for good cause, we waive notice and comment procedures.

VI. Collection of Information Requirement

This document does not impose any information collection and recordkeeping requirements. Consequently, it need not be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 35).

VII. Regulatory Impact Analysis

A. Overall Impact

We have examined the impacts of this rule as required by Executive Order 12866 (September 1993, Regulatory Planning and Review), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4), Executive Order 13132 on Federalism, and the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)).

Executive Order 12866 (as amended) directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). For purposes of Title 5, United States Code, section 804(2), we estimate that this rulemaking is “economically significant” as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence also a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. Accordingly, we have prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis that to the best of our ability presents the costs and benefits of the rulemaking on the 1,669 IPFs.

The updates to the IPF labor-related share and wage indices are made in a budget neutral manner and thus have no effect on estimated costs to the Medicare program. Therefore, the estimated increased cost to the Medicare program is due to the updated IPF payment rates, which results in a $140 million increase in payments, and the transition from 75 percent PPS/25 percent TEFRA payments to 100 percent PPS payments, which results in a $20 million decrease in payments. The sunset of the stop-loss provision has a minimal impact on IPF payments in RY 2009. The distribution of these impacts is summarized in Table 13. The effect of the updates described in this notice result in an overall $120 million increase in payments from RY 2008 to RY 2009.

The RFA requires agencies to analyze options for regulatory relief of small businesses, if a rule has a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, we estimate that the great majority of IPFs are small entities as that term is used in the RFA (include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The great majority of hospitals and most other health care providers and suppliers are small entities, either by being nonprofit organizations or by meeting the SBA definition of a small business (having revenues of less than $6.5 million to $31.5 million in any 1 year) (For details, see the Small Business Administration's Interim final rule that set forth size standards at 70 FR 72577, December 6, 2005.) Because we lack data on individual hospital receipts, we cannot determine the number of small proprietary IPFs or the proportion of IPFs' revenue that is derived from Medicare payments. Therefore, we assume that all IPFs are considered small entities. As shown in Table 13, we estimate that the net revenue impact of this notice on all IPFs is to increase payments by about 2.5 percent. Thus, we anticipate that this notice will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Medicare contractors are not considered to be small entities. Individuals and States are not included in the definition of a small entity.

In addition, section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare a regulatory impact analysis if a rule may have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. This analysis must conform to the provisions of section 604 of the RFA. For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital as a hospital that is located outside of a metropolitan statistical area and has fewer than 100 beds. With the exception of hospitals located in certain New England counties, for purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we previously defined a small rural hospital as a hospital with fewer than 100 beds that is located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or New England County Metropolitan Area (NECMA). However, under the new labor market definitions, we no longer employ NECMAs to define urban areas in New England. For purposes of this analysis, we now define a small rural hospital as a hospital with fewer than 100 beds that is located outside of an MSA. Therefore, the Secretary certifies that this notice has a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals.

We have determined that this notice will have a significant and positive impact on substantial number of hospitals classified as located in rural areas. Since the impact on rural hospitals is positive, we did not consider alternatives to reduce burden on these IPFs.

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) also requires that agencies assess Start Printed Page 25725anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2008, that threshold is approximately $130 million. This notice will not impose spending costs on State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $130 million Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. We have reviewed this notice under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 13132 and have determined that the notice will not have any substantial impact on the rights, roles, and responsibilities of State, local, or tribal governments.

B. Anticipated Effects

We discuss below the historical background of the IPF PPS and the impact of this notice on the Federal Medicare budget and on IPFs.

1. Budgetary Impact

As discussed in the November 2004 and May 2006 IPF PPS final rules, we applied a budget neutrality factor to the Federal per diem and ECT base rates to ensure that total estimated payments under the IPF PPS in the implementation period would equal the amount that would have been paid if the IPF PPS had not been implemented. The budget neutrality factor includes the following components: Outlier adjustment, stop-loss adjustment, and the behavioral offset. In accordance with § 412.424(c)(3)(ii), we will evaluate the accuracy of the budget neutrality adjustment within the first 5 years after implementation of the payment system. We may make a one-time prospective adjustment to the Federal per diem and ECT base rates to account for differences between the historical data on cost-based TEFRA payments (the basis of the budget neutrality adjustment) and estimates of TEFRA payments based on actual data from the first year of the IPF PPS. As part of that process, we will re-assess the accuracy of all of the factors impacting budget neutrality.

In addition, as discussed in section IV.C.1. of this notice, we are using the wage index and labor market share in a budget neutral manner by applying a wage index budget neutrality factor to the Federal per diem and ECT base rates. Thus, the budgetary impact to the Medicare program by the update of the IPF PPS will be due to the market basket updates (see section III.B. of this notice) and the planned update of the payment blend discussed below.

2. Impacts on Providers

To understand the impact of the changes to the IPF PPS discussed in this notice on providers, it is necessary to compare estimated payments under the IPF PPS rates and factors for RY 2009 to estimated payments under the IPF PPS rates and factors for RY 2008. The estimated payments for RY 2008 are a blend of: 25 percent of the facility-specific TEFRA payment and 75 percent of the IPF PPS payment with stop-loss payment. The estimated payments for the RY 2009 IPF PPS will be 100 percent of the IPF PPS payment and the stop-loss payment will no longer be applied. We determined the percent change of estimated RY 2009 IPF PPS payments to estimated RY 2008 IPF PPS payments for each category of IPFs. In addition, for each category of IPFs, we have included the estimated percent change in payments resulting from the wage index changes for the RY 2009 IPF PPS, the market basket update to IPF PPS payments, and the transition blend for the RY 2009 IPF PPS payment and the facility-specific TEFRA payment.

To illustrate the impacts of the final RY 2009 changes in this update notice, our analysis begins with a RY 2008 baseline simulation model based on FY 2006 IPF payments inflated to the midpoint of RY 2008 using Global Insight's most recent forecast of the market basket update (see section III.B. of this notice); the estimated outlier payments in RY 2008; the estimated stop-loss payments in RY 2008; the CBSA designations for IPFs based on OMB's MSA definitions after June 2003; the FY 2007 pre-floor, pre-reclassified hospital wage index; the RY 2008 labor-market share; and the RY 2008 percentage amount of the rural adjustment. During the simulation, the outlier payment is maintained at the target of 2 percent of total PPS payments.

Each of the following changes is added incrementally to this baseline model in order for us to isolate the effects of each change:

  • The FY 2008 pre-floor, pre-reclassified hospital wage index and RY 2009 final labor-related share.
  • A market basket update of 3.2 percent resulting in an update to the IPF PPS base rates.
  • The transition to 100 percent IPF PPS payments.
  • The removal of the stop-loss provision.
  • Our final comparison illustrates the percent change in payments from RY 2008 (that is, July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008) to RY 2009 (that is, July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009).

 Table 13.—Projected Impacts

Facility by typeNumber of facilitiesCBSA wage index and labor share (percent)Market basket (percent)Transition blend (percent)Stop-loss (percent)Total (percent)
(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)
All Facilities1,6690.03.2−0.5−0.12.5
Urban1,3010.03.2−0.50.02.6
Rural3680.03.2−0.6−0.32.1
Urban unit9310.03.2−2.6−0.10.4
Rural unit3080.03.2−2.4−0.50.1
Freestanding IPF By Type of Ownership:
Urban Psychiatric Hospitals:
Government1410.13.26.70.310.5
Non-Profit830.03.20.2−0.13.3
For-Profit145−0.13.25.60.19.0
Rural Psychiatric Hospitals:
Government40−0.13.28.30.412.1
Non-Profit70.23.20.90.44.5
For-Profit14−0.43.25.50.48.4
Start Printed Page 25726
By Teaching Status:
Non-teaching1,4240.03.2−0.4−0.12.6
Less than 10% interns and residents to beds1370.03.2−0.40.33.1
10% to 30% interns and residents to beds730.03.2−2.0−0.11.0
More than 30% interns and residents to beds350.03.2−1.6−0.51.1
By Region:
New England1210.43.2−2.40.01.2
Mid-Atlantic284−0.13.21.90.25.2
South Atlantic2260.03.2−0.50.12.8
East North Central292−0.23.2−2.3−0.30.3
East South Central164−0.43.2−0.20.02.5
West North Central1410.13.2−1.7−0.21.4
West South Central228−0.13.2−1.1−0.51.3
Mountain74−0.33.2−1.7−0.70.5
Pacific1320.53.20.40.04.2
By Bed Size:
Psychiatric Hospitals:
Less than 12 beds24−0.13.2−1.90.01.1
12 to 25 beds62−0.13.21.20.14.2
25 to 50 beds94−0.23.22.4−0.54.9
50 to 75 beds770.03.25.10.28.6
More than 75 beds1740.13.26.50.410.4
Psychiatric Units:
Less than 12 beds4890.03.2−4.6−0.7−2.4
12 to 25 beds4300.13.2−2.9−0.30.0
25 to 50 beds2170.03.2−2.00.21.3
50 to 75 beds55−0.13.2−1.80.31.4
More than 75 beds470.03.20.70.34.2

3. Results

Table 1 above displays the results of our analysis. The table groups IPFs into the categories listed below based on characteristics provided in the Provider of Services (POS) file, the IPF provider specific file, and cost report data from HCRIS:

  • Facility Type
  • Location
  • Teaching Status Adjustment
  • Census Region
  • Size

The top row of the table shows the overall impact on the 1,669 IPFs included in the analysis.

In column 3, we present the effects of the budget-neutral update to the labor-related share and the wage index adjustment under the CBSA geographic area definitions announced by OMB in June 2003. This is a comparison of the simulated RY 2009 payments under the FY 2008 hospital wage index under CBSA classification and associated labor-related share to the simulated RY 2008 payments under the FY 2007 hospital wage index under CBSA classifications and associated labor-related share. There is no projected change in aggregate payments to IPFs, as indicated in the first row of column 3. There would, however, be small distributional effects among different categories of IPFs. For example, rural for-profit IPFs and IPFs located in the East South Central region will experience a 0.4 percent decrease in payments. IPFs located in the Pacific region will receive the largest increase of 0.5 percent.

In column 4, we present the effects of the market basket update to the IPF PPS payments by applying the TEFRA and PPS updates to payments under the revised budget neutrality factor and labor-related share and wage index under CBSA classification. In the aggregate this update is projected to be a 3.2 percent increase in overall payments to IPFs.

In column 5, we present the effects of the payment change in transition blend percentages to the final year of the transition (TEFRA Rate Percentage = 0 percent, IPF PPS Federal Rate Percentage = 100 percent) from the third year of the transition (TEFRA Rate Percentage = 25 percent, IPF PPS Federal Rate Percentage = 75 percent) of the IPF PPS under the revised budget neutrality factor, labor-related share and wage index under CBSA classification, and TEFRA and PPS updates to RY 2008. The overall aggregate effect, across all hospital groups, is projected to be a 0.5 percent decrease in payments to IPFs. There are distributional effects of these changes among different categories of IPFs. Government psychiatric hospitals will receive the largest increase, with rural government hospitals receiving an 8.3 percent increase and urban government hospitals receiving a 6.7 percent increase. In addition, psychiatric hospitals with more than 75 beds will receive a 6.5 percent increase. Alternatively, psychiatric units with fewer than 12 beds will receive the largest decrease of 4.6 percent.

In column 6, we present the effects of the removal of the stop-loss provision. Stop-loss payments are no longer applicable when payments are 100 percent IPF PPS payments. However, all IPFs will receive an increase in the rates of 0.39 percent. The overall aggregate effect, across all hospital groups, is projected to be a 0.1 percent decrease in payments to IPFs. While stop-loss payments were intended to be budget neutral, we slightly underestimated the percentage by which we needed to decrease the Federal per diem base rate in the implementation year. Therefore, Start Printed Page 25727the aggregate impact of removing the stop-loss provision is a 0.1 percent decrease in payments instead of 0.0 percent. There are distributional effects of these changes among different categories of IPFs. Rural freestanding psychiatric hospitals will receive the largest increases, with rural government hospitals, rural non-profit hospitals, and rural for-profit hospitals each receiving a 0.4 percent increase. Alternatively, psychiatric units with fewer than 12 beds and IPFs located in the Mountain region will receive the largest decrease of 0.7 percent.

Column 7 compares our estimates of the changes reflected in this notice for RY 2009, to our estimates of payments for RY 2008 (without these changes). This column reflects all RY 2009 changes relative to RY 2008 (as shown in columns 3 through 6). The average increase for all IPFs is approximately 2.5 percent. This increase includes the effects of the market basket update resulting in a 3.2 percent increase in total RY 2009 payments, a 0.5 percent decrease in RY 2009 payments for the transition blend, and a 0.1 percent decrease in RY 2009 payments for the removal of the stop-loss provision.

Overall, the largest payment increase is projected to be among government IPFs. Rural government psychiatric hospitals will receive a 12.1 percent increase and urban government psychiatric hospitals will receive a 10.5 percent increase. In addition, psychiatric hospitals with more than 75 beds will receive a 10.4 percent increase. Psychiatric units with fewer than 12 beds will receive a 2.4 percent decrease.

4. Effect on the Medicare Program

Based on actuarial projections resulting from our experience with other PPSs, we estimate that Medicare spending (total Medicare program payments) for IPF services over the next 5 years would be as follows:

Table 14.—Estimated Payments

Rate yearDollars in millions
July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009$4,584
July 1, 2009 to June 30, 20104,799
July 1, 2010 to June 30, 20115,055
July 1, 2011 to June 30, 20125,373
July 1, 2012 to June 30, 20135,722

These estimates are based on the current estimate of increases in the RPL market basket as follows:

  • 3.2 percent for RY 2009;
  • 2.9 percent for RY 2010;
  • 3.0 percent for RY 2011;
  • 3.2 percent for RY 2012; and
  • 3.2 percent for RY 2013.

We estimate that there would be a change in fee-for-service Medicare beneficiary enrollment as follows:

  • −0.3 percent in RY 2009;
  • 0.2 percent in RY 2010;
  • 0.5 percent in RY 2011;
  • 1.5 percent in RY 2012; and
  • 2.5 percent in RY 2013.

5. Effect on Beneficiaries

Under the IPF PPS, IPFs will receive payment based on the average resources consumed by patients for each day. We do not expect changes in the quality of care or access to services for Medicare beneficiaries under the RY 2009 IPF PPS. In fact, we believe that access to IPF services will be enhanced due to the patient and facility level adjustment factors, all of which are intended to adequately reimburse IPFs for expensive cases. Finally, the outlier policy is intended to assist IPFs that experience high-cost cases.

C. Alternatives Considered

The statute does not specify an update strategy for the IPF PPS and is broadly written to give the Secretary discretion in establishing an update methodology. Therefore, we are updating the IPF PPS similar to the update approach used in other hospital PPSs and as published in the November 15, 2004, final rule. We note that this notice does not initiate any policy changes with regard to the IPF PPS; rather, it simply provides an update to the rates for RY 2009. Therefore, no other options were considered.

D. Accounting Statement

As required by OMB Circular A-4 (available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/​omb/​circulars/​a004/​a-4.pdf), in Table 15 below, we have prepared an accounting statement showing the classification of the expenditures associated with the provisions of this notice. This table provides our best estimate of the increase in Medicare payments under the IPF PPS as a result of the changes presented in this notice based on the data for 1,669 IPFs in our database. All expenditures are classified as transfers to Medicare providers (that is, IPFs).

Table 15.—Accounting Statement: Classification of Estimated Expenditures, From the 2008 IPF PPS RY to the 2009 IPF PPS RY

[in Millions]

CategoryTransfers
Annualized Monetized Transfers$120.
From Whom To Whom?Federal Government To IPFs Medicare Providers.

E. Conclusion

This notice does not initiate any policy changes with regard to the IPF PPS; rather, it simply provides an update to the rates for RY 2009 using established methodologies. In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this rule was previously reviewed by OMB.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.773, Medicare—Hospital Insurance; and Program No. 93.774, Medicare—Supplementary Medical Insurance Program)

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Dated: March 14, 2008.

Kerry Weems,

Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Approved: April 4, 2008.

Michael O. Leavitt,

Secretary.

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End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 08-1213 Filed 5-1-08; 4:00 pm]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-C