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New MACPAC Study Evaluates Medicaid, Medicare Payments

Medicaid payments to hospitals are comparable to or even higher than Medicare payments. Or at least they are once supplemental Medicaid payments are included. So concludes a new study by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, a non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises the states, Congress, and the administration on Medicaid and CHIP payment and access issues. In what MACPAC bills as the “first-ever study to construct a state-level payment index to compare fee-for-service inpatient hospital payments across states and to benchmark Medicaid payments to other payers such as Medicare,” the study found that Across states, base Medicaid [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee met last week in Washington, D.C. Among the issues on MedPAC’s agenda were: using premium support in Medicare regional variation in Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D spending and service use measuring low-value care in Medicare the role of Medicare policy in provider consolidation Find the issue briefs and presentations that supported MedPAC commissioners’ discussion of these issues here and find a transcript of the two days of meetings here

Temporarily Gone But Not Forgotten

While last week’s withdrawal of the American Health Care Act at least temporarily halted talk of immediate repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, at least one aspect of that proposed legislation, often discussed in the past, is sure to arise in the future as well:  replacing the current manner in which the federal government matches state Medicaid funding with Medicaid per capita limits or Medicaid block grants. In a new issue brief, the Kaiser Family Foundation examines how a switch to per capita limits or block grants might affect low-income seniors served by both Medicare and Medicaid.  Among [&hellip

CMS Shares Evaluation of Medicare-Medicaid Financial Alignment Efforts

In 2011 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a “Medicare-Medicaid Financial Alignment Initiative” that seeks “…to provide Medicare-Medicaid enrollees with a better care experience and to better align the financial incentives of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.” How is that initiative working so far?  CMS recently released three reports that evaluate different aspects of the program.  Those reports are: “Early Findings on Care Coordination in Capitated Medicare-Medicaid Plans under the Financial Alignment Initiative” “Beneficiary Experience: Early Findings from Focus Groups with Enrollees Participating in the Financial Alignment Initiative” “Issue Brief: Special Populations Enrolled in Demonstrations under the Financial [&hellip

MedPAC Offers Provider Rate Recommendations for FY 2018

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has submitted its annual Medicare payment rate recommendations to Congress. The recommendations, required by law, include: rate increases as required by current law for hospital inpatient payments, hospital outpatient payments, physicians, other health professional services, and outpatient dialysis payments; no updates for ambulatory surgical centers, skilled nursing facilities, long-term-care hospitals, and hospices; and five percent rate reductions for home health agencies and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. MedPAC continued its past practice of recommending reform of the manner in which Medicare pays for post-acute-care services, maintaining that the unified payment system it has proposed would save $30 [&hellip

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