Mary Ellen Conway, RN, BSN, is president of Capital Healthcare Group, LLC, Bethesda, Md., which provides health care management expertise in accreditation preparation and survey follow-up, operations assistance, design of quality improvement programs and outcome measures. She can be contacted by phone at 301/896-0193 or through

In addition to changing rates in non-bid locations, CMS plans to lower certain rates based on regional calculations, all under the guise of streamlining the bid program