Aspects of IMPACT Act may spread to Medicaid: expert

Look for the act’s impact to spread to Medicaid beneficiaries and providers, Julie Hamos says.
Look for the act’s impact to spread to Medicaid beneficiaries and providers, Julie Hamos says.

Skilled nursing facilities should be on the lookout for aspects of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 to trickle into the Medicaid world, according to one expert.

Although the IMPACT Act is still in the early stages of implementation, there is evidence that some of its policies may be translated to Medicaid down the road, said Julie Hamos, principal at Health Management Associates, during a session at the Post Acute Link conference in early June.

“I'm seeing the picture on the wall the same way that as with Medicare, how the readmissions policy started with Medicare but then trickled down to Medicaid,” Hamos told McKnight's. “Once there's a uniform assessment process … it makes sense to also translate [the policies] into Medicaid.”

Hamos noted that bundled payments could come to Medicaid as part of a “trickle down” process.

“So many people start in Medicare, and when they've depleted their assets, then they're in Medicaid,” Hamos said. “So we have a lot of SNFs in the Medicaid space and they have to operate in both. So SNFs especially should be mindful of those changes.”

Hamos' thoughts were echoed by other Link presenters, who stressed that bundled payments are “here to stay.”