The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released a proposed rule change that would increase reimbursement rates for the close to 10,000 doctors in Puerto Rico that provide Medicare services. The change is open for public comment until September 6, 2016 and would go into effect in January 2017. The adjustment to the Geographic Pricing Cost Index (GPCI) could also potentially impact the close to 1 million Medicare patients on the island. Advocates for the change have long argued that the costs for rendering these services in Puerto Rico are much more expensive than in the mainland U.S., and that an increase in reimbursement rates is warranted.
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