MedPAC approves 7 recommendations
Monday, January 18, 2016 12:08 PM
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) unanimously approved seven recommendations on payment systems last week. The recommendations approved were:
Recommendation 1: Physicians and other health professionals
The Congress should increase payment rates for physician and other health professional services by the amount specified in current law for calendar year 2017.
Recommendation 2: Ambulatory Surgical Centers
The Congress should eliminate the update to the payment rates for ambulatory surgical centers for 2017. The Congress should also require ambulatory surgical centers to submit cost data.
Recommendation 3: Dialysis Facilities
The Congress should increase the outpatient dialysis payment rate by the update specified in current law for calendar year 2017.
Recommendation 4: Skilled Nursing Facilities
The Congress should eliminate the market basket for 2017 and 2018 and direct the Secretary to revise the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities. In 2019, the Secretary should report to the Congress on the impacts of the reformed PPS and make any additional adjustments to payments needed to more closely align payments with cost.
Recommendation 5: Home Health Agencies
The Congress should direct the Secretary to eliminate the payment update for 2017 for home health agencies and implement a two-year rebasing of the payment system beginning in 2018. Congress should direct the Secretary to revise the PPS to eliminate the use of therapy visits as a factor in payment determinations concurrent with rebasing.
Recommendation 6: Hospice
The Congress should eliminate the update to the hospice payment rates for fiscal year 2017.
Recommendation 7: Long-Term Care Hospitals
The Secretary should eliminate the update to the payment rates for long-term care hospitals for fiscal year 2017.
These recommendations will appear in the Commission’s March 2016 Report to Congress. MedPAC also reviewed some statistics given in December 2015 about each of these payment systems including profit margins. These statistics are available at http://www.new-kyha.com/Portals/5/NewsDocs/MedPACPaymentSummaries.pdf.