Medicare Wage Index

The Medicare wage index is calculated annually to determine the labor portion of the Diagnosis-related group (DRG) paid to PPS hospitals by CMS for Medicare patients. With each of the 456 CBSAs receiving its own wage index; the differences in the index, and associated payments, are considerable. We conservatively estimate that each 0.010 difference in the wage index equals approximately $70.00 for each Medicare discharge. With the high wage index around 1.8000 and the low around 0.7000, the difference in reimbursement is substantial.

Webdale Healthcare was the first consulting firm to offer hospitals a review of their data from the Form S-3 to optimize it and the resulting reimbursement. Since then we have developed tools and processes to ensure that our clients receive the maximum revenue from Medicare. Each client receives direct attention from a principal of the firm who works with the hospital until the Final Rule is published in August of the following year.

Webdale Healthcare understands that hospitals have different levels of need in preparation of their wage index revisions. Therefore, we offer two levels of consulting service to clients; the extensive Wage Index Expert Review (WIER) or the supporting level Wage Index Improvement Program (WIIP). Some clients opt for using both levels over a multi-year engagement.

Wage Index Expert Review

Webdale Healthcare provides an extensive process called Wage Index Expert Review (WIER).

This program provides:

We suggest new clients begin with WIER. In multi-year engagements, hospitals can continue with WIER, or use WIIP in subsequent years; repeating WIER every few years.

Wage Index Improvement Program

We understand that many hospitals have considerable experience with the wage data revision process and may not require the more extensive WIER program. WIIP was developed for experienced reimbursement personnel who may only require help on an overview basis.

WIIP is also an excellent starting point for associations and councils organizing a group initiative which includes:

We suggest that new clients begin with the WIER. In multi-year engagements, hospitals can continue with WIER, or use WIIP in subsequent years, repeating the WIER every few years.