MedPAC remains bullish on site-neutral payment system

AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson is a proponent of site-neutral payments.
AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson is a proponent of site-neutral payments.

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members remained staunch supporters of a site-neutral payment system for post-acute care providers.

MedPAC commissioners called the concept “feasible” at their mid-January meetings, pleasing the skilled nursing community.

A site-neutral pay plan that encompasses skilled nursing, various rehab settings, long-term acute care hospitals and other PAC providers would be a workable way to break down barriers between care settings, they said.

In a January 14 meeting, MedPAC touted the ability of a unified PPS to span across the care continuum and “correct some shortcomings' in the current policies. Payment increases are expected for patients requiring ventilator care, severe wound care or critical chronic conditions.

Orthopedic services, non-stroke neurology conditions and the “least frail” patients would be in line for potential payment decreases.

Regulators could “dampen incentives” for facilities that selectively admit certain patients, MedPAC commissioners noted.

They were expected to discuss levels of payments, among other topics, at the group's prospective payment system discussions in March. A final report is expected to be given to Congress in June.