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MedPAC Issues 2018 Report to Congress

The non-partisan legislative branch agency that advises Congress and the administration on Medicare payment policies has submitted its mandatory annual report to Congress. Among the findings included in the report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission are: Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program has not resulted in increases in emergency room visits or hospital observation stays. Many Medicare accountable care organizations, while maintaining or improving quality, are producing more modest savings than predicted. MedPAC approves of Medicare’s proposals to redesign the case-mix classification system for skilled nursing facilities. MedPAC supports changes Medicare has proposed for patient assessment and therapy requirements for [&hellip

ACOs Moving Into Medicaid

Accountable care organizations, one of the centerpieces of recent Medicare efforts to test new ways to deliver care more effectively and at less cost, are finding their way into state Medicaid programs as well. Today, a dozen states employ Medicaid ACOs and another ten are planning to do so. Learn more about Medicaid ACOs, and how one state (Minnesota), in particular, is using them, in this Kaiser Health News report

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met last week in Washington, D.C. to address a number of Medicare reimbursement-related issues. Among the subjects on MedPAC’s agenda were: using payments to ensure appropriate access to and use of hospital emergency department services uniform outcome measures for post-acute care applying MedPAC’s principles for measuring quality: hospital quality incentives Medicare coverage policy and use of low-value care long-term issues confronting Medicare accountable care organizations managed care plans for dual-eligible beneficiaries While MedPAC’s policy and payment recommendations are not binding on Congress or the administration, its views are respected and influential and often become the [&hellip

ACOs, APMs Proliferate

The number of accountable care organizations and alternative payment models is growing, as is the number of people served by such programs. According to a new study published on the Health Affairs Blog, there are more than 900 ACOs across the country – a 10 percent increase over a year ago. 32 million Americans are served by ACOs today – 2.2 million more than a year ago.  Among them, 59 percent are served through commercial contracts, 29 percent by Medicare contracts, and 12 percent under Medicaid contracts.  ACO growth is greatest in metropolitan areas, the states with the greatest ACO [&hellip

Serving High-Need, High-Cost Medicare Patients

With Medicare beneficiaries who have four or more chronic conditions accounting for 90 percent of Medicare hospital readmissions and 74 percent of Medicare costs (both 2010 figures), policy-makers are constantly looking for better ways to serve such individuals. Academic research suggests that these beneficiaries need a variety of non-medical social interventions and supports, most of which are not covered by Medicare. With this in mind, the Bipartisan Policy Center has prepared a review of current regulatory, payment, and other barriers that prevent providers and insurers from meeting some of the non-medical needs of high-need, high-cost patients that result in such [&hellip

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