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Under Medicare, hospitals generally receive fixed payments for inpatient stays based on diagnosis-related groups (DRG), a system that classifies stays by patient diagnoses and procedures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annually uses its own data to reclassify DRGs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care to about 4.7 million veterans primarily through its medical facilities--which include hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and other health care facilities--and by contracting for care with other healthcare providers.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) revised the payment formula for most of the outpatient drugs, including inhalation therapy drugs, covered under Medicare part B.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a variety of long-term care services that includes nursing home care and noninstitutional care provided in community-based settings or in the homes of veterans.
Congress has long encouraged the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to share health resources to promote cost-effective use of health resources and efficient delivery of care.
Since fiscal year 1997, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has relied primarily on its 21 health care networks to allocate resources to its medical centers. VA headquarters also directly allocates some resources to the medical centers.
The rapidly rising costs of health care, along with an increasing concern for the quality of care and the safety of patients, are driving health care organizations to use information technology (IT) to automate clinical care operations and their associated administrative functions.