The Medicare Wage Index (WI) is one of the factors that adjust a hospital’s overall payment from the Medicare program. Through the wage index, Medicare is able to maintain a consistent payment structure across IPPS hospitals while recognizing that the cost of labor varies in markets across the nation.
This paper explores:
- Aspects of the wage index including how labor markets are defined.
- Various adjustments that can impact how the wage index is calculated.
- Recent changes to the wage index.
- Opportunities that hospitals can take advantage of during their own review process.