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MedPAC Offers Recommendations in Annual Report to Congress

In its annual report to Congress, the independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues offered a variety of suggestions for changes in how Medicare payments for health care. Among the recommendations offered by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission are policies affecting: payments for drugs under Medicare Part A and Part D the development of a unified payment system for post-acute care a new framework for paying physicians using competitive pricing to set Medicare beneficiary premiums the preservation of access to emergency care in rural areas telehealth services in the Medicare program dual-eligible beneficiaries To learn more about these [&hellip

MedPAC Urges Socio-Economic Risk Adjustment of Readmissions Reduction Program

The independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment issues has urged the administration to revise the Medicare hospital readmissions reduction program to adjust for the socio-economic status of the patients different hospitals serve. In a May 31 letter to CMS acting administrator Andrew Slavitt as part of broader comments on Medicare’s proposed FY 2017 inpatient prospective payment system regulation, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission reminded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that … our June 2013 report discussed evaluating hospital readmission rates against a group of peer hospitals with a similar share of low-income Medicare beneficiaries as a way [&hellip

Low Participation Plagues Dual-Eligibles Demo

A federal demonstration program that seeks to improve care for those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid is suffering from under-participation. This perspective was presented during last week’s meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the independent federal agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment and policy issues. Among the factors affecting participation have been difficulties identifying eligible participants, resistance from providers, and low provider payments. Because of the low participation, it has been difficult to measure the program’s effectiveness in better coordinating patients’ care. Currently 61 health plans in 12 states participate in the program. Such programs are important [&hellip

MedPAC Addresses Issues at April Meeting

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. On its agenda were the following issues on which MedPAC is advising Congress: the development of a unified prospective payment system for post-acute care improving Medicare Part D Medicare Part B drug and oncology payment policy issues using encounter data for risk adjustment in Medicare Advantage hospice and Medicare spending measuring low-value care preserving access to emergency care in rural areas CMS’s financial alignment demonstration for dual-eligible beneficiaries Go here to find the issue briefs and presentations used during the two-day meeting

New Approaches to Readmissions Reduction Program?

While Medicare’s readmissions reduction program has produced a decline in the number of Medicare readmissions within 30 days of discharge, critics – among them the National Association of Urban Hospitals – argue that the program is unfair to hospitals that serve especially large numbers of low-income patients whose distinct needs pose a greater risk of requiring readmission to address. In a new report, the journal Health Affairs notes that such arguments have given rise to a number of proposals for possible changes in the readmissions reduction program. Among them, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission …has proposed a revision to the [&hellip

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