MedPAC

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.

Better retention of SNF licensed nurses relates to fewer rehospitalizations, study finds

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Skilled nursing facilities that have fewer rehospitalizations are likely to retain their licensed nurses at a higher rate than other SNFs, according to a study in the April issue of Gerontology.

Medicare should reduce payments to SNFs 4% next year, MedPAC says

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Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities should be cut 4% in 2014 and then steadily reduced in subsequent years, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission said in a March 15 report to Congress. Rates should be decreased to achieve $10 billion in savings by 2018, the group said.

Medicare payment rate for hospices should not rise in 2014, MedPAC says

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The Medicare payment rate for hospices should not increase in 2014, according to recommendations to Congress announced Monday by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commision (MedPAC).

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

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

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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).

MedPAC recommends lowering outpatient therapy caps by 33%

MedPAC recommends lowering outpatient therapy caps by 33%

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Already contentious Medicare Outpatient Part B therapy caps would likely receive even more attention if the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has its way. MedPAC recommended Thursday that Congress drop the annual allowable limits from $1,880 to $1,270.

MedPAC: A quarter of Medicare hospital readmissions are preventable

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One-quarter of hospital admissions among Medicare beneficiaries are preventable, with the leading cause for those readmissions is heart failure, a Medicare advisory board report noted.

CMS should downsize demonstration programs for dual eligibles, senator says

CMS should downsize demonstration programs for dual eligibles, senator says

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Large demonstration programs meant to coordinate the care of dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries could limit access to care and require more thorough testing, critics said this week.

Medicare panel seeks enhanced payments, eligibility for the PACE program

Medicare panel seeks enhanced payments, eligibility for the PACE program

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Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly providers should be paid more generous Medicare Advantage rates, according to a payment panel. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission also called for changes that would allow people younger than age 55 to participate in the program, which targets dual eligible seniors.

MedPAC worried over managed care plan for dual eligibles

MedPAC worried over managed care plan for dual eligibles

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A Medicare advisory panel has expressed concern that automatic enrollment into managed care plans for dually eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries would harm their access to healthcare.

Stop the 'siloed' policy making for skilled nursing

Stop the 'siloed' policy making for skilled nursing

Last week, three reports issued by three separate government agencies made incongruent recommendations — or no recommendations at all — related to skilled nursing facility (SNF) patient care and policy. This spotlights precisely how federal policymaking is hampered by "siloed thinking."

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