Noteworthy News

Archive for MedPAC


MedPAC Still Unhappy With Doc Pay

Despite the recent regulation implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to prevent hospitals from continuing to acquire physician practices so they can receive higher outpatient payments than those physicians receive in private practice, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission appear to think that more needs to be done to equalize physician payments regardless of where they provide outpatient services. Or so MedPAC commissioners discussed during their public meeting in Washington, D.C. last week. One commissioner observed that physicians appear to become less productive when their practice is acquired by a hospital. Others noted the added costs [&hellip

MedPAC Meets

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission met in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss a number of issues on which it is contemplating advising Congress. Those issues were: the role of Medicare policy in provider consolidation stand-alone ERs payments from drug and device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals determining benchmarks and beneficiary premiums under a premium support system for Medicare Medicare outlier payments and hospital charging practices Medicare Advantage: calculating benchmarks and coding intensity population-based outcome measures: healthy days at home and potentially preventable admissions and ER visits Go here to see the issue briefs and presentations associated with MedPAC commissioners’ discussions [&hellip

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

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