MedPAC for equal post-acute payments?

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has drawn closer to formally recommending that skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities receive equal reimbursement for more than a dozen conditions.

MedPAC's June report to Congress proposed equalizing Medicare payments for major joint replacement and hip/femur procedures, as well as post-stroke rehab. Analysts have since looked at 17 additional conditions, including cardiac and pulmonary diagnoses. Commissioners discussed these at an early November meeting in Washington.

Outgoing chairman Glenn Hackbarth determined that there is a “pretty strong consensus” in favor. A recommendation to Congress now will be drafted. Congress is not obligated to follow MedPAC recommendations and often does not.

The recommendation will not include post-stroke services. 

Proponents of site-neutral payments, including the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, say both types of providers offer similar care and have comparably good patient outcomes.