Post-acute providers call on Washington for regulatory reprieve

Regulatory pressure needs to be lifted from post-acute care facilities before alternative payment models can succeed, providers told legislators on Wednesday.

Provider organizations urged Congress at a Capitol Hill briefing to revise regulations so that operators can make a smoother transition to alternative payment models like bundled payments and accountable care organizations.

Rehabilitation providers testifying at the briefing offered up the “60% rule” as one needing revision, Bloomberg BNA reported. Under the rule, an inpatient rehabilitation facility needs to show that 60% of its residents require intensive services for one of 13 qualifying conditions in order to receive higher Medicare payments.

The revisions are much needed to assure quality care for the nearly 40% of Medicare beneficiaries who require post-acute care hospitalization, said William Altman, executive vice president for strategy, policy and integrated care at Kindred Healthcare Inc., to the panel.

Other regulatory roadblocks noted during the panel include a lack of information sharing and clinical integration along the continuum of care, and conflicts between regulations and new payment models. Any new policies pertaining to post-acute care should be designed to help rehabilitation providers transition to value-based payments, reduce hospitalizations and shorten lengths of stay, Altman added.

Wednesday's briefing was convened by the American Hospital Association.