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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

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

MedPAC Issues 2018 Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has issued its 2018 report and recommendations to Congress. The report includes MedPAC’s recommendations for next year’s Medicare fee-for-service payments; a review of the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs, with recommendations; and a report telehealth required by the 21st Century Cures Act. For Medicare fee-for-service rates, MedPAC proposes: the inpatient and outpatient rate increases, physician and other health professional rate increases, and outpatient dialysis increase included under current law no increase for ambulatory surgical centers, long-term-care hospitals, and hospice providers no rate increase for skilled nursing facilities a five percent reduction of payments [&hellip

Readmissions Program Working; Expansion in Order?

The Medicare hospital readmissions reduction program is working, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. And it may even be worth expanding to additional medical conditions, MedPAC members believe. According to MedPAC, hospital readmissions among patients with medical conditions covered by the readmissions reduction program have declined faster than readmissions among patients with medical conditions not covered by the program, suggesting that expanding the program to additional medical conditions could lead to an even greater reduction in the number of avoidable Medicare-covered readmissions. Learn more about changes in the readmission rate since the readmissions reduction program was introduced and whether [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on Medicare payment issues, met last week in Washington, D.C. Among the issues on MedPAC’s agenda were: paying for sequential stays in a unified Medicare payment system for post-acute care encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to use higher-quality post-acute care providers using payment policy to ensure appropriate access to and use of hospital emergency department services the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ financial alignment demonstration for dual-eligible beneficiaries the effectiveness of the Medicare hospital readmissions reduction program population-based quality measures such as preventable admissions and home and community days Go here, to MedPAC’s [&hellip

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