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CMS Rule Change will Benefit Alabama Hospitals Fix to Wage Index Formula With 75 percent of Alabama’s hospitals operating in the red, the recent news of a proposed federal rule change to make hospital Medicare payments more equitable is a huge boost for the state. According to information released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in its proposed payment rule for fiscal year 2020, Alabama would receive a projected increase in Medicare payments based on a change to the wage index formula. “Our preliminary estimates predict an increase of more than $34 million for Alabama’s hospitals for the next fiscal year,” said Danne Howard, executive vice president and chief policy officer for the Alabama Hospital Association. In the proposed rule, all hospitals in the bottom quartile (almost all Alabama hospitals) would experience an increase in Medicare payments starting October 1st of this year. “The wage index factor has a floor and a ceiling, and Alabama hospitals have consistently been at the bottom of the range for years, with the lowest rural payments in the country. Raising the floor brings Alabama payments more in line with hospitals across the country,” Howard said.

UAB Hospital Lauded for Seventh Year in a Row as one of America’s Great Hospitals UAB Hospital has been listed on Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2019 list of 100 Great Hospitals in America. UAB has earned this distinction every year since

2013 and is the only hospital in Alabama to make the annual list published by Becker’s Healthcare, a leading source of business and legal information for health care industry leaders. Becker’s 100 Great Hospitals website describes UAB Hospital as a 1,157bed institution. The health system’s UAB Callahan Eye Hospital was one of the first level 1 ocular trauma centers in the country, and is the only level 1 ocular trauma hospital in Alabama.

Cindy Key Named Chief Nursing Officer of Walker Baptist Medical Center Cindy Key, a nurse executive with over 35 years’ experience, has been named chief nursing officer at Walker Baptist Medical Center. Key joined Walker Baptist Medical Center in 2011 following the acquisition of the Alabama Cindy Key Outpatient Surgery Center where she served as manager. She was promoted to Director of Procedural Services, which included the Inpatient OR, Ambulatory Surgery Center, Surgery, Outpatient Procedures and Sterile Processing. Key has also held roles as nurse manager of Orthopedics and Director of Maternal/Infant Services. Key earned an associate degree in nursing and later a bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from UAB. She will complete her master’s degree this summer.

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