Noteworthy News

Archive for MedPAC


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

MedPAC Offers DSH, 340B Recommendations

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has recommended that Congress direct changes in the 340B prescription drug discount program and in the manner in which Medicare makes disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH). In its annual report to Congress, MedPAC recommended a reduction in 340B prescription drug payments to hospitals. The proposed reduction would cut 340B program spending approximately $300 million. MedPAC then recommended that those 340B savings be redirected to the Medicare DSH uncompensated care pool. And it also called for distributing the money in that pool based on better data on the uncompensated care hospitals provide, as reported on [&hellip

MedPAC Meets, Considers Issues

Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met last week in Washington, D.C. to discuss policies and potential recommendations to Congress on a number of Medicare payment issues. Among the issues on the agenda were: developing a unified payment system for post-acute care telehealth services improving Medicare Part D Part B drug payment policies improving the efficiency of oncology care in the Medicare fee-for-service program using competitive pricing to set beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Advantage and Medicare fee-for-service programs MedPAC is an independent agency that recommends Medicare payment policies to Congress. Its recommendations are not binding but are [&hellip

MedPAC Sees Room for More Telehealth

“If we are going to be relevant to the customers who will age into Medicare one day, we need to be offering these kinds of alternatives.” That alternative is telehealth services and the statement came from a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission at the agency’s recent meeting in Washington D.C. At that meeting, several MedPAC members agreed, suggesting that telehealth should be used more widely in the Medicare program than it currently is. Today, they noted, it is used primarily in the fee-for-service program and mostly to serve patients who live in rural areas. Learn more about why [&hellip

Congress Open to Revisiting Medicare Site-Neutral Outpatient Payments?

Conceding that Congress “…has received a large amount of feedback” since including in a 2015 law a provision that compels Medicare to pay for outpatient care on a site-neutral basis, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health Subcommittee have invited members of the health care community “…to provide feedback to the Committee related to the enactment of Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.” While noting the differences between Medicare outpatient payments for services provide in hospital-based facilities, private doctors’ offices, and other sites and pointing out that the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) had urged [&hellip

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