MedPAC calls for permanent reauthorization of Medicare Advantage plan covering nursing home residents

Share this article:
Skilled nursing providers and inpatient rehab facilities offer clashing views on Medicare payments
Skilled nursing providers and inpatient rehab facilities offer clashing views on Medicare payments

The Medicare Advantage special needs plan that enrolls nursing home residents, set to expire at the end of 2014, will be permanently reauthorized if Congress acts on recommendations proposed by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

Institutional special needs plans (I-SNPs), which cover about 50,000 beneficiaries in long-term care facilities, outperform other SNPs and Medicare Advantage plans on quality measures such as hospital readmission rates, according to MedPAC figures presented at a public meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The low readmission rates indicate I-SNPs provide more integrated, coordinated care to enrolled beneficiaries than fee-for-service plans. Based in part on I-SNPs' high marks for improving integrated care, MedPAC commissioners unanimously recommended that Congress permanently reauthorize them, according to the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA).

MedPAC also outlined steps to improve D-SNPs, which enroll beneficiaries eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. D-SNPs will be able to better integrate with Medicaid if Congress addresses Medicare/Medicaid misalignments such as separate appeals and grievance processes, MedPAC commissioners said, according to BNA.

Dual-eligible issues are of interest to long-term care operators, as LTC services account for a majority of the $150 billion in Medicaid spent on duals, a recent report showed.

A full transcript of the MedPAC meeting will be posted here.

Share this article:

More in News

CMS expands therapy payment research

The government is expanding its research into alternative therapy payments, to consider more holistic changes to the way Medicare reimburses skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday.

CDC tightens Ebola guidelines for healthcare workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued more stringent guidelines for how healthcare workers should interact with Ebola patients, following an outcry from nurses and other professionals.

Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces, must rally, LeadingAge chairman says

Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces, must rally, ...

Nonprofit long-term care providers must work together to address alarming trends, or their market share could plummet and the sector as a whole could falter, LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm told ...