CHA News Article

MedPAC Recommends Medicare Payment Updates for 2019
Commission also discussed reports on hospital readmissions, physician quality payment program

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met last week to vote on its recommendations for Medicare fee-for-service payment and policy changes for federal fiscal year and calendar year 2019. The commission did not change its payment update recommendations from the draft recommendations discussed in December, including a recommendation to update hospital inpatient and outpatient payments as determined by current law, which is expected to result in an increase of approximately 1.25 percent. 

In addition, the commission passed a recommendation, by a vote of 14-2, that Congress eliminate the physician Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and replace it with a voluntary value-based payment system that would require physicians to be measured in groups on population-based measures. MedPAC also discussed its mandated reports on the effects of the hospital readmissions reduction program and coverage of telehealth services in Medicare and commercial plans. Presentation materials are available and a transcript will be posted to MedPAC’s website. The commission will include its approved recommendations in a March report to Congress.