CHA News Article

MedPAC Finalizes Recommendations for 2017 Post-Acute Care Payment Updates
Provides updates on unified post-acute care payment system, new physician payment system

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has voted to approve draft recommendations for post-acute care payment updates in 2017. At its meetings this week, the commission recommended no market basket update in 2017 for home health agencies, skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) or long-term care hospitals. The recommendations would rebase home health payments over two years starting in 2018 and eliminate therapy as a factor in setting home health payments. MedPAC also recommended reform of the SNF prospective payment system and report to Congress in 2019 on the impacts of those reforms, as well as any potential need for further payment system changes.

In addition, MedPAC voted to recommend further study of concerns related to IRF case selection and coding practices. CHA submitted a letter to the commission, which included considerations for MedPAC to keep in mind while conducting this research. 

The commission also presented an update on its congressionally mandated report that provides a framework for a unified prospective payment system for post-acute care. MedPAC will revisit several unaddressed questions at its March meeting and issue the report in June. Additionally, MedPAC discussed potential principles and implementation issues for the alternative payment models that will be implemented as part of the new physician payment system required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. More information, including presentation materials and a transcript when available, may be found at MedPAC’s website.