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. 

Hackbarth, who announced he would be retiring from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission next year after 15 years as a member and 14 years as chairman, also said that the recovery audit contractor program should be “better targeted.”

Both declarations cheered long-term care operators, who have lobbied with similar sentiments.

Hackbarth called the three-day hospital-stay prerequisite “archaic.” Long-term care providers and other stakeholders have said the requirement is a holdover from Medicare's earliest days, and it does not account for the more sophisticated care now offered by skilled nursing facilities. Their opponents say the rule helps to contain costs.


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