Don’t look now, but it appears that nursing home owners might have sneaked one of their own onto the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Attorneys working to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board vowed Tuesday to fight the IPAB’s first board action, whenever it might come. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a long-standing case challenging the panel’s constitutionality.
Opposition to a proposed independent payment advisory board (IPAB) continued to swell this week following re-introduction of a bill in Congress to repeal a portion of the Affordable Care Act that houses it. Skilled nursing providers have been among providers who do not favor IPAB, which would largely supplant the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).
The federal government this week argued to the Supreme Court that a lower court was correct when it dismissed challenges to a payment review provision in the Affordable Care Act. Long-term care providers are among those who had hoped the challenges would be successful.
Medicare rules might have to be relaxed to give hospitals more say in where patients go for post-acute care, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission proposed at a recent meeting in Washington, D.C. It’s likely that many hospitals already are “soft steering,” some commissioners said.
Readmissions have become an increasingly urgent concern for skilled nursing facilities not only because they are traumatic for residents, but also because under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals’ Medicare reimbursements have been tied to readmission rates. For the past few years, skilled nursing facilities have tried to attract referrals by showing that they can help hospitals keep readmissions low.