Tag Archives: post-acute care

Post-Acute Care Providers Targeted for Cuts in MedPAC’s Latest Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released recommendations to Congress regarding how Medicare fee-for-service payment system rates should be adjusted in 2018. One of the focus areas for MedPAC is post-acute care (PAC), which includes skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health agency (HHA), inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF), and long-term care hospital (LTCH) services.  According … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues Recommendations on Medicare Drug, Post-Acute Care, and Other Payment Policies

MedPAC has released its June 2016 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The report includes recommendations for a number of Medicare policy reforms and analyses of various health care market developments. Several chapters address Medicare drug policy, including a review of external factors that influence the prices Medicare pays … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Proposed Rule to Update SNF PPS Rates and Policies for FY 2017

CMS has published its proposed rule to update Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) PPS rates and policies for FY 2017. CMS projects that the proposed rule would increase overall payments to SNFs by $800 million, or 2.1%, compared to FY 2016 levels. This projected update is based on a proposed 2.6% market basket increase that … Continue Reading

CMS Call on IMPACT ACT Standardized Patient Assessment – Patient/Family Perspective (May 12)

On May 12, 2016, CMS will host a conference call on “Understanding the IMPACT Act-Patient and Family Focused for Informed Decision Making.” The call is intended to allow patients, families, caregivers, advocacy groups, and other consumers to ask questions regarding the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT Act) and standardizing the assessment of patients … Continue Reading

CMS Call on the IMPACT Act: Patient Assessment “Data Element Library” (April 14)

On April 14, 2016, CMS will host a call on the “Data Element Library” that will facilitate exchange and use of post-acute care assessment data under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. The CMS call will provide an overview of the Data Element Library, discuss the type of information that could be publicly … Continue Reading

Extensive Medicare & Medicaid Funding and Program Integrity Provisions in Obama’s Released FY 2017 Budget Proposal

On February 9, 2016, the Obama Administration released its proposed fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget, which contains significant Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and program integrity legislative proposals – including $419 billion in Medicare savings over 10 years. These proposed policy changes would require action by Congress, and Republican Congressional leaders have already voiced general opposition … Continue Reading

CMS Call on IMPACT Act: Connecting Post-Acute Care across the Care Continuum (Feb 4)

On February 4, 2016, CMS is hosting a provider call on Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act requirements regarding the reporting of standardized patient assessment data by post-acute care (PAC) providers (skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals). During this call, CMS and the Office of the National … Continue Reading

Medicare Launches Its First Mandatory Bundled Payment Model for Joint Replacement Care – What You Need to Know to Get Ready

As previously reported, CMS has published its final rule to establish a Medicare Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model that establishes a bundled payment framework for acute care hospitals for lower extremity joint replacement surgery (LEJR) episodes of care in selected geographic areas. The CJR initiative is particularly significant given that it is the … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes “Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement” Model

On November 16, 2015, CMS released its final rule to establish a Medicare Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model that will test whether bundled payments to acute care hospitals for lower extremity joint replacement surgery (LEJR) episodes of care will reduce Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. … Continue Reading

CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Hospital/HHA Discharge Planning Requirements

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would modify the discharge planning conditions of participation (COPs) for hospitals, including long-term care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, critical access hospitals, and home health agencies (HHAs). The proposed rule would implement the discharge planning requirements of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute … Continue Reading

CMS to Host Call on Implementation of the IMPACT Act

On October 21, 2015, CMS is hosting a provider call to discuss the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014.  The call will cover: Legislative requirements of the IMPACT Act related to the use of standardized data, quality measures, and resource use and other measures for skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term … Continue Reading

MedPAC Meeting on Medicare Policies (Sept. 10-11)

The next Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) meeting is scheduled for September 10-11, 2015. Topics on the agenda include, among others: developing a unified payment system for post-acute care; Medicare Advantage encounter data and star ratings; Medicare drug spending; and payments from drug and device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals.… Continue Reading

CMS Publishes Final FY 2016 Update to SNF PPS Rates, Policies

On August 4, 2015, CMS published its final rule updating Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) PPS rates and policies for FY 2016.  CMS projects that the final rule will increase overall payments to SNFs by $430 million, or 1.2%, as compared to FY 2015 levels.  This update reflects a 2.3% market basket increase that is … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Congressional committees have held a number of hearings recently on health policy issues, include the following A House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on “Medicare Post-Acute Care Delivery and Options to Improve It.”  A Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “Advancing Telehealth Through Connectivity.” A Senate Finance Committee hearing on the impact of the ACA … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs MACRA: Permanently Reforms Medicare Physician Reimbursement Framework, Includes Other Health Policy Provisions

Today President Obama signed into law H.R. 2, the "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" (MACRA), which reforms Medicare payment policy for physician services and adopts a series of policy changes affecting a wide range of providers and suppliers. Most notably, MACRA permanently repeals the statutory Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, achieving a goal that has eluded Congress for years. Now, after a period of stable payment updates, MACRA will link physician payment updates to quality, value measurements, and participation in alternative payment models.… Continue Reading

CMS Call on the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (Feb. 25)

CMS is hosting a call on Wednesday, February 25, to discuss implementation of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).  The IMPACT Act requires the submission of standardized data by long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. On the call, CMS will provide an overview of … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Releases FY 2016 Budget Proposal with Medicare/Medicaid Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the Obama Administration released its proposed federal budget for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The budget would impact all types of health care providers, health plans, and drug manufacturers if adopted as proposed – which is unlikely given Republican control of the House and Senate. Nevertheless, Congress can be expected to consider … Continue Reading

MedPAC Meeting on Medicare Policies (Jan. 15-16)

On January 15-16, 2015, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is meeting to discuss a number of Medicare topics, including, among others: post-acute care trends; payment updates for a number of provider types; relative costs of Medicare Advantage, accountable care organizations, and fee-for-service Medicare; hospital short stay policy; and quality measurement. … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Post-Acute Care Transformation Act and Other Health Policy Bills

On October 6, 2014, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (the “IMPACT Act”). The IMPACT Act’s provisions will affect a broad range of post-acute care (PAC) providers: home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs). … Continue Reading

MedPAC Meeting on Medicare Policy Issues (Oct. 9-10)

MedPAC is meeting on October 9 and 10, 2014 to discuss a variety of Medicare policy issues, including: international comparison of rates paid to hospitals; sharing risk in Medicare Part D; potentially inappropriate opioid use in Medicare Part D; the next generation of Medicare beneficiaries; private-sector initiatives to manage post-acute care; and validating relative value … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues Medicare Delivery Reform Recommendations

On June 13, 2014, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2014 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. Among other things, MedPAC addresses ways to align Medicare fee-for-service (FFS), Medicare Advantage, and accountable care organization policies on payment, risk adjustment, and quality measurement. MedPAC also discusses various … Continue Reading

OIG Examines Medicare LTCH Interrupted Stay Policy

The OIG has issued a report entitled “Vulnerabilities in Medicare’s Interrupted-Stay Policy for Long-Term Care Hospitals.”  By way of background, the Medicare long-term care hospital (LTCH) interrupted-stay policy generally treats time spent at an LTCH before and after an interruption as a single stay, rather than considering the second portion of the LTCH stay to be … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

A number of Congressional panels have focused on following health policy issues recently, including the following: The House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee examined various Medicare hospital issues, including the CMS two-midnights policy, short inpatient stays, outpatient observation stays, Recovery Audit Contractor audits, and the appeals backlog. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing … Continue Reading
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