Medicare Area Wage Classification Consulting

One of the most important factors in determining how adequately providers are reimbursed by Medicare is their area wage classification. DeBrunner & Associates helps hospitals ensure that they are classified in the most advantageous manner possible.

DeBrunner & Associates uses its data analysis capabilities to help providers identify the most advantageous area into which they might be classified; helps them calculate the financial benefits of reclassification; and helps them determine whether they qualify for reclassification. If they do, we help guide them through the complex and sometimes highly political reclassification process.

Congress and the administration will continue to look at the entire Medicare wage classification system and consider changes to it in the future. As they do, DeBrunner & Associates can help give providers a voice in any potential changes, whether that involves responding to new proposals or even attempting to initiate beneficial modifications. We also help providers identify and work with neighboring hospitals to pursue their mutual area wage classification interests – a form of coalition-building that enhances providers' access to key decision-makers while helping to defray the cost of aggressive reclassification and policy development efforts.

At some point in the near future, Medicare will begin using 2010 census data for the first time to determine where to classify hospitals for wage index purposes. When it does, changes in many hospitals’ classifications are inevitable. The use of new census data will offer new opportunities to some hospitals while posing threats to others, with potentially millions of dollars in annual Medicare revenue at stake. DeBrunner & Associates can help hospitals determine whether shifts in their region’s population offer opportunities for reclassification into areas with a higher wage index – and then help them pursue that reclassification. Similarly, we can help hospitals that face the possibility of a reduced index to act effectively to prevent that reduction from being implemented.