A bipartisan group of 52 U.S. senators has sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D., asking for more consideration before a coding-related 2.9 percent cut to Medicare hospital payments is implemented in fiscal year 2011. What follows is text of the letter, sent on July 16:

"We write to express our concerns regarding the proposed Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System regulation for Fiscal Year 2011. In this rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposes to apply a 2.9 percent cut to hospital payments to eliminate what CMS claims is the potential effect of coding changes. Before such a change goes into effect, we need to confirm that the appropriate and correct methodology has been adopted and that the proposed rule takes into consideration any changes in patient severity.

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