Post-hospital care spending jumps
MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage
Bundled payment experiments are growing while Medicare spending on nursing homes continues to come under scrutiny, according to a Kaiser Health News/Washington Post report. Widely varied care, additional services and costs from state-to-state have drawn the attention of regulators.
New studies are being conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation in an attempt to equalize costs. Proposals have been made for 178 "bundled payment" experiments, which join hospitals and post-acute providers for fixed-sum treatment. An additional 157 tests have been created, many by private companies that have recruited medical providers.
Data show that spending on post-hospital care has increased at a 5% or greater annual rate in 34 of 50 of the U.S.'s biggest hospital areas. The numerous Medicare payment methods are seen as part of the problem. One suggested fix is a new payment plan that limits the pay for services to a lump sum.