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News & Press: Regulations & Policy

MedPAC Meeting Discussed Unified PAC PPS

Thursday, November 16, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Robin Childers
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Summary below provided by Home Health Section member Ellen R. Strunk, PT, MS, GCS, CEEAA, CHC via the Home Health Section Yahoo e-mail group:

On November 2, 2017, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met and staff presented their analyses and recommendations supporting a shift to a new unified Post-Acute-Care PPS. A unified payment model's goal is to have Medicare payments to PAC providers - skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), home health agencies (HHAs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long term care hospitals (LTCHs) - based on patient characteristics and not the setting of service. The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 requires the commission to develop a PPS spanning the four PAC settings.

The concept that MedPAC staff presented during this meeting suggested that a blend of the current setting-specific PPS rate and a proposed unified PAC PPS rate could serve as incremental steps towards implementation of MedPAC's recommendations for a unified PAC PPS - as early as 2021. The plan is projected to increase payments for medically complex care, while decreasing payments for rehabilitation care "unrelated to a patient's condition".

Keep in mind that MedPAC's recommendations to Congress are just that - recommendations. However, they do carry weight and should be monitored closely.

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