AHCA applauds Senate passage of IMPACT Act

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The Senate approved the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act, drawing praise from the American Health Care Association and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care.

“We are very pleased with this outcome,” said AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson. “IMPACT will standardize assessments for critical care issues across the spectrum of post-acute care (PAC) providers. Assessing improvement in areas such as functional outcomes, pressure ulcers and dementia goes a long way toward improving the health and well-being of our patients. 

The National Association for the Support of Long Term Care said that the act would let the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services compare quality across post-acute care settings.

“The IMPACT Act represents an important next step toward the collection of standardized patient assessment data that can improve care quality in a patient-centered and cost-effective way,” said NASL Executive Vice President Cynthia Morton.

One healthcare vendor, Eric Heil, the president and chief executive officer of RightCare Solutions, noted the IMPACT Act “lays the groundwork for major payment reform with the ultimate goal of creating a site-neutral payment system for post-acute care.  

“To prepare for this shift, post-acute care providers must act today — measuring quality metrics, resource utilization, and process improvements. It's critical that changes are implemented now and in 2015, in order to be positioned for success by 2018,” he advised.

Rehabilitation providers have opposed site-neutral payments. The American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association Chairman Bruce M. Gans, M.D., released a more neutral statement in support of IMPACT, saying the group supports the act's “commendable goal of generating comparable data on post-acute care outcomes.”

However, “care should be delivered in the most appropriate setting to achieve the best patient outcomes,” he said. “It is critical that payment policies not override what the evidence supports and expert clinicians decide on when and where a patient should receive care.”