Unified pay by 2021: MedPAC

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted in April to recommend an accelerated timeline that would see implementation of a site-neutral post-acute care payment system kick off in 2021.

Speeding up implementation is needed, MedPAC members said, since previous efforts to overhaul PAC pay have dragged.

“Having an open-ended implementation with no specific date would lead to this never getting done,” member Kathy Buto said at the group's April meeting.

Despite the sense of urgency, MedPAC members also identified barriers to the accelerated start date, such as the effects the system could have on vulnerable patients and the “major impact” the overhaul could have on the post-acute sector.

Provider groups expressed similar worries ahead of MedPAC's vote. Mike Cheek, with the American Health Care Association, told Bloomberg BNA that his group plans to provide input on the proposed system.

The advisory panel will present its non-binding recommendations on the unified PAC pay system to Congress in June.