Unified post-acute payment system nearly complete, MedPAC says

MedPAC's payment report will go to Congress in June
MedPAC's payment report will go to Congress in June

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is nearing completion of its prototype for a unified, site-neutral post-acute payment, the group said during a meeting on Thursday.

The new system would focus on patient characteristics, rather than type of post-acute care facility, and correct some of the “shortcomings” of the current prospective payment systems, MedPAC said. The prototype also includes high-cost and short-stay outlier policies.

The unified system would be used for skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals, but would have the most adverse effects on IRFs and LTCHs because the patients treated in these facilities can also be treated in lower-cost settings, Modern Healthcare reported.

Some MedPAC members suggested the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services test the system with volunteer post-acute providers, and that the agency shorten the timeline for implementing the new system.

MedPAC will vote on a the prototype system in April, and submit a final report to Congress for consideration in June.