(3/13) Latest MedPAC report contains four reform recommendations for post-acute care

On March 15, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) issued its March 2013 Report to the Congress on Medicare payment policy. The report provides recommendations to increase the efficiency of Medicare by finding ways to provide high-quality care for Medicare beneficiaries at lower costs to the program.

In this report, MedPAC recommends no update in 2014 for five fee-for-service payment systems and a 1% update for the hospital inpatient and outpatient payment systems. In three sectors (physician, skilled nursing, and home health), the report evaluates current payment adequacy indicators but does not take new votes on recommended payment updates.

The report also contains a summary chapter on post-acute care settings, which says that Medicare’s definition of and payments for post-acute care services fail to establish incentives for providers to deliver efficient, high-value care. As a result of these “shortcomings,” the MedPAC has developed four broad reforms to encourage a more seamless, patient-centered approach to match services and settings to the needs of each patient:

  • Bundled payments and ACOs
  • A common patient assessment instrument
  • New quality measures
  • Expanded readmission policies

Under these reforms, payments would reflect the characteristics of the patient, not the services furnished or the setting, and would encourage the use of the lowest cost mix of services necessary to achieve the best outcomes, according to the report.

Read more about these reforms and the other MedPAC recommendations byclicking here.

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