MedPAC focuses on nursing home rehospitalizations

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Congress's advisory panel on Medicare matters is examining rehospitalization rates of nursing home residents. Staff members for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission told commissioners last week that rehospitalization rates are much higher at freestanding skilled nursing facilities than at hospital-based SNFs.

MedPAC commissioners are looking for policy changes, including pay-for-performance measures, that could help avert unnecessary hospital re-admissions, according to reports. While they said that the higher re-admission rates for freestanding facilities could be a sign of sub-par care, they also noted that that could not be automatically assumed to be true.

Also last week, MedPAC staff members reported that the healthcare sector was far and away the fastest growing section of economy over the last nine years. It grew at almost twice the rate of the rest of the economy between 1999 and today.
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