MedPAC recommends reimbursement freeze for hospice providers

Share this article:

Policymakers should freeze Medicare hospice reimbursements for 2015, according to recommendations supported by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

MedPAC, which advises Congress on Medicare policy, registered support for the draft recommendation at the group's meeting Friday, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. Freezing the reimbursement rate is not expected to compromise hospice providers' ability to furnish care, MedPAC staff reported.

Hospice margins for 2014 are estimated to be 7.8%, compared with 8.7% in 2011, according to MedPAC's figures.

Long-term care professionals have disputed MedPAC's calculated margins for skilled nursing facilities in the past, arguing they are far too high. However, MedPAC's most recent estimates, announced last Thursday, were a more modest 1.8%. Still, the commission called for a 4% reduction in SNF reimbursements for 2016, prompting protests from providers.

MedPAC will formally consider the reimbursement recommendations in January. However, guidance from the group generally has been ignored in the past, with annual reimbursement cuts being far less steep than recommended.

Share this article:

More in News

Nursing home administrators do not believe that pay-for-performance improves care quality or facility profitability, survey shows

Nursing home administrators do not believe that pay-for-performance ...

Most nursing home administrators do not believe that pay-for-performance initiatives lead to improved resident care or stronger bottom lines, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Aging and ...

Former CNA gets 16-year prison sentence for stealing nursing home residents' identities

Three former nursing home aides are facing prison time for stealing residents' identities and conning the government, state and federal authorities announced Thursday.

Aggression strongly signals pain only when dementia reaches advanced stages, researchers find

For a person with dementia, the link between aggressive behavior and physical pain is strong only in the condition's advanced stages, University of Florida researchers have found.