The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission provoked the ire of skilled nursing providers after recommending once again that Congress freeze operator market-basket updates, this time for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

In its mid-December draft recommendation MedPAC claimed that the current level of Medicare payments to SNFs “remains too high.”  

The group’s draft also recommends that the SNF prospective payment system be revised due to differences in Medicare margins that reflect the “systematic biases of the PPS that need to be corrected.” Those biases include PPS’ continued favor of therapy over complex care, and a wide variation in margins that reflects patient selection, service provision and cost control, MedPAC officials said.

MedPAC commissioners showed support for the SNF draft recommendations but gave no word on whether the changes would come up for a formal vote in January, according to
Bloomberg BNA

Lawmakers are not obligated to follow MedPAC recommendations.