MedPAC

Hackbarth rips 3-day stay rule

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If outgoing MedPAC Chairman Glenn Hackbarth had his way, Medicare would pay for skilled nursing services without requiring a three-day hospital stay first.

MedPAC discusses limiting patients' post-acute options

MedPAC discusses limiting patients' post-acute options

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Medicare rules might have to be relaxed to give hospitals more say in where patients go for post-acute care, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission proposed at a recent meeting in Washington, D.C. It's likely that many hospitals already are "soft steering," some commissioners said.

Focus on preventable readmissions

Focus on preventable readmissions

Readmissions have become an increasingly urgent concern for skilled nursing facilities not only because they are traumatic for residents, but also because under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals' Medicare reimbursements have been tied to readmission rates. For the past few years, skilled nursing facilities have tried to attract referrals by showing that they can help hospitals keep readmissions low.

Long-term care providers might need to change pain management to cut opioid use, MedPAC analyst says

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Long-term care and other providers might have to alter their pain management practices if changes discussed at a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission meeting come to pass.

Also in the news for Oct. 14, 2014 . . .

MedPAC to focus on opioids in long-term care, private sector management of post-acute services ... Workplace violence takes a severe toll on healthcare workers, analysis finds ... Premier applauds White House antibiotic plan

ACO bill in House would waive 3-midnight requirement for skilled nursing care

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Certain Accountable Care Organizations would be able to send Medicare beneficiaries to a skilled nursing facility without a prior hospital stay under a bipartisan bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives.

Also in the news for Sept. 19, 2014

Americans are the most worried about losing their eyesight as they age, poll says .... AHCA says MedPAC Chairman is 'spot-on' with three-day stay comments ... Medicare Advantage enrollment rises for fifth straight year, CMS says.

MedPAC chairman: Three-day stay requirement is 'archaic'

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The government should pay for skilled nursing care without a preliminary three-day hospital stay, and the recovery auditor program should be reformed, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members said at a meeting Friday.

Why be optimistic when anxiety is an option?

Why be optimistic when anxiety is an option?

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Depending on how you like to interpret the news, nursing home operators are either facing some of the worst of times, or they've been infused with new life.

Skilled care companies seek site-neutral Medicare rates

Skilled care companies seek site-neutral Medicare rates

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Proposed Medicare payment changes have put the nation's skilled care companies at odds with inpatient rehabilitation providers, and the two sides were making strident arguments in front of lawmakers at press time.

MedPAC urges rates blind to care setting

MedPAC urges rates blind to care setting

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Skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities should receive equal payments for treating some conditions, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission proposed in its latest report to Congress.

Skilled nursing providers and inpatient rehab facilities offer clashing views on Medicare payments as Congress hears testimony

Skilled nursing providers and inpatient rehab facilities offer clashing views on Medicare payments as Congress hears testimony

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Proposed Medicare payment changes have put the nation's largest long-term care association at odds with inpatient rehabilitation providers, and the two sides sought to sway legislators in advance of a Congressional hearing Wednesday.

 New payment models present opportunities for SNFs

New payment models present opportunities for SNFs

For skilled nursing facilities, the Medicare SNF 3-day rule can make it difficult to place the right patients in the right setting at the right time. The 3-day rule requires that a Medicare beneficiary spend three nights in a hospital as an inpatient — observation stays do not count — before becoming eligible for Medicare-covered SNF care. This rule creates a challenge for SNFs as hospital lengths of stay decline for many of the conditions that SNFs treat.

All ACOs should be allowed to waive 3-midnight requirement for Medicare skilled nursing coverage, MedPAC says

All ACOs should be allowed to waive 3-midnight requirement for Medicare skilled nursing coverage, MedPAC says

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Accountable care organizations should be able to place patients in skilled nursing facilities more quickly and communicate which SNFs are preferred providers, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission stated in a letter to a top government health official.

House bill would create site-neutral payments for post-acute care, could save Medicare $100 billion over a decade, lawmakers say

House bill would create site-neutral payments for post-acute care, could save Medicare $100 billion over a decade, lawmakers say

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Federal lawmakers have drafted a bill to implement bundled, site-neutral payments for post-acute services, which they say would save the Medicare program up to $100 billion over a decade.

Some good news (from MedPAC !): Quality rising

Some good news (from MedPAC !): Quality rising

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A funny thing happened on the way to a semi-annual eye rolling about a MedPAC report. It contained some information that could make long-term care providers happy.

It's not all bad news coming from MedPAC

It's not all bad news coming from MedPAC

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A funny thing happened on the way to a semi-annual eye-rolling over a MedPAC report. It gave me reason to sit up with interest. Even more unlikely, it contained information that made some long-term care providers happy.

MedPAC report shows providers making progress, quality contractor says

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's latest report to Congress was submitted Friday with previously known recommendations for payment levels. But largely lost among the 400-page report also was a body of research indicating that long-term care providers are showing progress in quality improvement activities, said a prominent quality researcher.

MedPAC holds off on recommendation for site-neutral payments for post-acute care

MedPAC holds off on recommendation for site-neutral payments for post-acute care

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission discussed equalizing reimbursements for different post-acute providers but did not issue a formal recommendation at a meeting last week. This was the second time in recent months that MedPAC has taken up the topic of reimbursing skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities at the same level for certain services.

Call to slash therapy caps

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The chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has urged a House committee to set lower Medicare Part B therapy spending caps.

MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage

MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage

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Home health providers should be subject to Medicare reimbursement penalties based on hospital readmission rates, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

Make therapy caps lower, streamline review process, MedPAC chairman urges House committee

Make therapy caps lower, streamline review process, MedPAC chairman urges House committee

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Congress should set lower annual caps on Medicare reimbursements for outpatient therapy and streamline the manual review process for claims exceeding those caps, a Medicare policy expert told the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday.

MedPAC recommends reimbursement freeze for hospice providers

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

MedPAC renews call for long-term care payment cuts, draws fire from providers

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has recommended a 4% reduction in skilled nursing facility payments in 2016, prompting an outcry from providers.

MedPAC focuses on rehab

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission could be getting closer to formally recommending more uniform payments to skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

MedPAC shows enthusiasm for equalizing SNF, inpatient rehab facility payments

MedPAC shows enthusiasm for equalizing SNF, inpatient rehab facility payments

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More uniform reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities could be implemented soon, policy analysts recently told the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tested the concept in 2006, after developing a patient assessment tool that could be used in both settings.

MedPAC would slash Part B therapy caps

MedPAC would slash Part B therapy caps

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission devoted a chapter of its June 2013 Congressional report to outpatient therapy recommendations, sparking concern.

Provider groups protest MedPAC recommendations to reduce therapy caps

Provider groups protest MedPAC recommendations to reduce therapy caps

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Resident care would suffer and providers would shoulder a larger burden if Congress acts on the latest recommendations from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, advocates for the long-term care sector say.

Freeze nursing home doctor pay for 10 years, replace Sustainable Growth Rate system, Senate Finance Committee told

Freeze nursing home doctor pay for 10 years, replace Sustainable Growth Rate system, Senate Finance Committee told

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Medicare rates for physician visits to nursing homes should be frozen for 10 years as the government replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate system, a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission official advised the Senate Finance Committee.

Reduce Medicare payments for hospice care in skilled nursing facilities, MedPAC suggests

Reduce Medicare payments for hospice care in skilled nursing facilities, MedPAC suggests

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The government should consider Medicare payment cuts for hospice services provided in skilled nursing facilities, according to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) commissioners. A reduction of 3% to 5% is reasonable, MedPAC says, based on a formula that assumes "equal provision of aide visits" in home and facility settings, and accounts for the labor costs of these two types of care.

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