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.

The advisory arm to Congress supports payment rationalization, as the process is called. Moreover, commissioners have identified the narrowing of SNF and IRF prices as a starting point for post-acute payment reform, said MedPAC Chairman Glenn Hackbarth.

Supporters of similar SNF and IRF payments received a boost when policy analysts reported to MedPAC the first week of November.

“Broad payment reform for PAC has many challenges but, in the near term, CMS could pursue a strategy to narrow the price differences between IRFs and SNFs,” their brief states. “Both providers focus on institutional rehabilitation services and there is overlap in some of the patients they treat.”