MedPAC to providers: Rates fine as they are

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Report: Nursing home therapy reimbursement under review as reform law toughens up
Report: Nursing home therapy reimbursement under review as reform law toughens up
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) apparently believes that inflation does not exist for long-term care providers. At press time, the organization was about to call on Congress to keep current payment rates frozen through fiscal year 2010.

In draft recommendations, MedPAC noted that leaving payments to skilled facilities unchanged would not adversely affect Medicare beneficiary access to needed services, or affect a facility's willingness to accept Medicare residents. The commission also discussed a 0% increase for inpatient rehabilitation facilities and no increase or 5% cut for home health centers.

The panel is expected to make a final vote on these recommendations in January. The draft recommendations issued by MedPAC also could mean a full market-basket increase for hospitals in 2010. The commission would like to see increased hospital payments tied more closely to quality-of-care initiatives and would seek to vary any payment increases accordingly.