CHA News Article

MedPAC Issues June 2017 Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2017 Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The document includes 10 chapters covering key issues facing the Medicare program and offers solutions to ensure the program’s continued viability. 

In its June report the commission continues its work, required by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act, evaluating the feasibility of a unified prospective payment system (PPS) spanning post-acute care (PAC) settings (e.g., skilled-nursing facility, inpatient rehabilitation facility, long-term care hospital and home health agency). After determining a unified PPS is feasible in its 2016 report, the commission studied three implementation issues: a transition period with blended setting-specific and unified PPS rates, appropriate levels of aggregate PAC payments, and ways to address ongoing refinements to the system after implementation. MedPAC recommends that a unified PAC PPS be implemented beginning in 2021 with a three-year transition, and that aggregate payments should be reduced by 5 percent.

The  report also explores:

  • Medicare Part B drug payment policy issues
  • Using premium support in Medicare
  • The relationship between physician and other health professional services and other Medicare services
  • Redesigning the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and strengthening advanced alternative payment models
  • Payments from drug and device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals in 2015
  • The medical device industry
  • Stand-alone emergency departments
  • Hospital and skilled-nursing facility use by Medicare beneficiaries who reside in nursing facilities
  • The implications of provider consolidation on Medicare policy

More information is available in the attached fact sheet.